Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    ..
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Well, yes USSR wasn't a communist or even socialist state. It was left totalitarian dictatorship established by Lenin and solidified by Stalin. If you want to ruin some apologetic arguments of those who think that the Soviet Union was a viable socialist regime as an alternative to capitalism than the vast majority of such people were disillusioned in 1968 during the Prague spring.
    In this list I can extend your definition of "Forced labour initiatives and severe penalties for absence". It was called War Communism that inferred special procurement schemes where each village should have delivered a planned amount of grain and if they failed to do so they were punished via repressions.

    P.S. However, I just want to add that Stalin indeed followed Lenin's political course. What is not true though is that he didn't follow Marx's ideals but only Lenin's interpretations of them. Therefore, he created dictatorship rather than pursued pure communism.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Unfortunately, this view become dominant in left-leaning Western Sovietology itself during the '70s and '80s, and the assumption still persists until this day. The 'revisionists' wished to completely separate Stalin from Lenin and and so declare that the former had himself brought about the degeneration of Communism, as if there were no such continuing institution as the Party and no such abiding worldview as Marxism-Leninism. It never occurred to them that the experiment didn't 'go wrong' but was actually wrong from the start.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I agree OP. Lenin had good ideas, and this is the kind of 'socialism' that I support. Stalin on the other hand was a massive uneducated brute from Georgia who used his influence and probably bribed some corrupt officials to gain political control over the USSR. When Lenin was on the death bed he made a list of rules which were to be followed after his death which included 'Do not let Stalin take control.' Many people don't even realise that the communism which was envisaged by Lenin never happened....sad but true.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by chainedheart)
    I agree OP. Lenin had good ideas, and this is the kind of 'socialism' that I support. Stalin on the other hand was a massive uneducated brute from Georgia who used his influence and probably bribed some corrupt officials to gain political control over the USSR. When Lenin was on the death bed he made a list of rules which were to be followed after his death which included 'Do not let Stalin take control.' Many people don't even realise that the communism which was envisaged by Lenin never happened....sad but true.
    More myth.

    In fact, a lot of Lenin's ideas were bad. Very bad. Grain requisition, the application of absurd class sociology on the villages (i.e. the invention of the 'kulak'), a one party state - everything that the OP already listed.

    Stalin in fact was always exceptional. Violent, ruthless, coarse, yes - but exceptional, as Simon Montefiore has argued in his biography Young Stalin. The picture of Stalin as a mediocre 'usurper' is just false - and a myth encouraged by aforementioned revisionists and Trotskyite sympathizers like Isaac Deutscher. And Lenin's testament is taken as proof that Stalin usurped him, and so that Stalinism is not true Bolshevism.

    Yet Lenin only took two of his lieutenants, Trotsky and Stalin, seriously as possible successors. He dismissed others such as Zinoviev, Kamenev and Bukharin (the first two dismissed in one line, and Bukharin called a 'poor Marxist'). He then went on to criticize both Stalin and Trotsky, the former for being 'too rude' and amassing 'inordinate power', and the latter as being drawn too much to the 'administrative side of things' (i.e. he was too autocratic). So all in all he managed to denigrate all of his chief lieutenants in one document. Hardly proof that he was out to destroy Stalin politically, or that Stalin was never a true Marxist (he was - see Erik van Ree's The Political Thought of Joseph Stalin).

    Trotsky and Bukharin later dug up the testament in order to use it to delegitimize Stalin. Of course, it was much embarrassment to Stalin, but only within the theological culture that Marxism-Leninism had become (a culture and a system created by Lenin himself).
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Algorithm69)
    That is the complete opposite to what I said. The USSR under Lenin was atrocious and laid the foundations for Stalin. Stalinism was a continuation of Leninism.

    As for Lenin's Testament, I always enjoyed Stalin's reply to it: "Yes, Lenin said I should never be in power, but did he ever say I was wrong?". And, in fact, Stalin was Lenin's most loyal supporter. They disagreed over many things of course, but Stalin was a loyal Leninist.
    Stalin was a ****, you can't take that away though. The jokes that Stalin played on his opponents were atrocious. He basically used to crush glass shards and pour the glass into his opponents drink. The glass used to rip up the person's oesophagus and intestines as they digested the drink, sending them to a slow and painful death. Terrible times eh?

    and look what happened to Trotsky as well. I'm sure if Stalin didn't take control over the USSR, maybe the communist utopia would have been realised. It's hard to say whether Leninism contributed to Stalinism. You are probably right though...I think things would have been different if Trotsky came to power. Stalin was just mental. :/
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    In sum, Leszek Kolakowski called Marxism 'the greatest fantasy of our [the twentieth] century' and he was right. Martin Malia summarizes the Soviet Socialist experiment brilliantly:

    'the enduring formula of Sovietism is maximalist or integral socialism as the alleged culmination of the logic of history in conjunction with the dictatorship of the Party substituting for history's allegedly anointed vehicle, the universal class of the proletariat. It is building socialism with this blunt instrument... that the Soviet experiment was all about. But such an enterprise is intrinsically impossible, for the primitive military means of the partocracy by their very nature cannot realize the combined ideological ends of an efficient economy and a just, egalitarian society. Under such circumstances, the building of Soviet socialism could proceed only as a mixture of ideological illusion and raw coercion.'

    -Malia, the Soviet Tragedy, p.494.

    All this conjecture about who might have otherwise came to power and what might have otherwise happened is irrelevant. The Soviet experience is best understood through the Party's own logic and ideology; that is, the Party only existed at all because it believed that socialism was the 'culmination of the logic of history' (as put forth by Marx) and was destined to supersede capitalism. And the Party would thus be the vehicle for socialism, standing in for the universal class of the proletariat. Never did they realize that just by virtue of this fact was the whole enterprise illegitimate - history was not moving in the way Marx had predicted, and so reality had to be constantly coerced to fit the wishes of the party, and as Malia says, utopia cannot be realized by these primitive means (if utopia can be realized at all).
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Blame Stalin.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Algorithm69)
    I would like a source for your first paragraph. Nowhere have I heard this claim before. In fact Stalin was not an uneducated brute. He was a very intelligent and gifted person which is why he was accepted into a prestigious seminary when he was young.

    And I've already listed the atrocious examples of the USSR under Lenin. A communist utopia would never have occurred because Leninism itself is a brutal and totalitarian system.

    As for Trotsky. This is the man who published the pamphlet "Communism and Terrorism" in 1921. A few highlights include: to reject terror is to reject socialism, it was right to shoot hostages, the rights of the individual were irrelevant nonsense, and that the Bolsheviks were never concerned with the prattle about the “sacredness of human life.” he also decimated entire regiments during the Civil War if they failed to carry out commands.
    It's not a claim it's the truth. He also liked to put tomatoes under his 'friends' seats so when they sat down the tomatoes would explode, to which he would roar with laughter. Honestly. He was ****ing mental.

    I can't believe your actually defending him, and claiming he was 'intelligent.' He wasn’t even Russian ffs!! Lenin got a degree in law, became a barrister and one day looked around at what was going on in his country, sat down, read a bit of Marx and Engels, saw an opportunity to help the peasants and started a revolution. Simples. There was an opportunity and he took it. Stalin on the other hand was one sneaky ******* who used the image of Leninism to gain the control of the majority. Ok? He was more concerned about sending Russian people to Gulag’s and photo shopping dead opponents from his photographs. Lenin never had the opportunity to realise his dream because he died when he was very young, 53/54 something like that. Stalin just crept out like a rat and took control while the country was weak and had no successor, even though he didn’t have a degree, wasn’t Russian and probably couldn’t even comprehend the difference between capitalism and socialism.

    Oh and my sources is a family member who graduated in Marxism-Leninism.
    • Political Ambassador
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    Political Ambassador
    (Original post by chainedheart)
    I agree OP. Lenin had good ideas, and this is the kind of 'socialism' that I support. Stalin on the other hand was a massive uneducated brute from Georgia who used his influence and probably bribed some corrupt officials to gain political control over the USSR. When Lenin was on the death bed he made a list of rules which were to be followed after his death which included 'Do not let Stalin take control.' Many people don't even realise that the communism which was envisaged by Lenin never happened....sad but true.
    Lenin oversaw quite a lot of brutality himself. Look at some of his agricultural policies.

    You don't understand much about Stalin then. The man made some brilliant political manurers when he was after power. Taking control of various key seemingly unimportant offices was one of these. Switching from the left and right of the party as well to alienate his rivals was another.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Stalin)
    Blame Stalin.
    Hi Stalin! :hello:

    Nice to know your on TSR as well.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by chainedheart)
    It's not a claim it's the truth. He also liked to put tomatoes under his 'friends' seats so when they sat down the tomatoes would explode, to which he would roar with laughter. Honestly. He was ****ing mental.

    I can't believe your actually defending him, and claiming he was 'intelligent.' He wasn’t even Russian ffs!! Lenin got a degree in law, became a barrister and one day looked around at what was going on in his country, sat down, read a bit of Marx and Engels, saw an opportunity to help the peasants and started a revolution. Simples. There was an opportunity and he took it. Stalin on the other hand was one sneaky ******* who used the image of Leninism to gain the control of the majority. Ok? He was more concerned about sending Russian people to Gulag’s and photo shopping dead opponents from his photographs. Lenin never had the opportunity to realise his dream because he died when he was very young, 53/54 something like that. Stalin just crept out like a rat and took control while the country was weak and had no successor, even though he didn’t have a degree, wasn’t Russian and probably couldn’t even comprehend the difference between capitalism and socialism.

    Oh and my sources is a family member who graduated in Marxism-Leninism.
    Stalin was a Marxist. I don't understand where this myth came from. If one were to accept the argument above, then one would have expected Stalin to invoke Marxist language only in public, not in private. But even in his most intimate correspondence with Molotov, Kaganovich and others, Stalin did in fact continue to employ Marxist frameworks and concepts (see Erik Van Ree, The Political Thought of Joseph Stalin, pp. 16, 258-61). As Van Ree has shown, Stalin's non-fiction library consisted of 'overwhelming Marxist works, which he continued to study and annotate until the end of his life'. As James Harris summarizes, 'these ideas mattered to Stalin, and he remained a committed Marxist' (see Stalin: A New History ed. by Sarah Davies and James Harris).
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by chainedheart)
    It's not a claim it's the truth. He also liked to put tomatoes under his 'friends' seats so when they sat down the tomatoes would explode, to which he would roar with laughter. Honestly. He was ****ing mental.

    I can't believe your actually defending him, and claiming he was 'intelligent.' He wasn’t even Russian ffs!! Lenin got a degree in law, became a barrister and one day looked around at what was going on in his country, sat down, read a bit of Marx and Engels, saw an opportunity to help the peasants and started a revolution. Simples. There was an opportunity and he took it. Stalin on the other hand was one sneaky ******* who used the image of Leninism to gain the control of the majority. Ok? He was more concerned about sending Russian people to Gulag’s and photo shopping dead opponents from his photographs. Lenin never had the opportunity to realise his dream because he died when he was very young, 53/54 something like that. Stalin just crept out like a rat and took control while the country was weak and had no successor, even though he didn’t have a degree, wasn’t Russian and probably couldn’t even comprehend the difference between capitalism and socialism.

    Oh and my sources is a family member who graduated in Marxism-Leninism.
    You know who else has a degree in law? Anjem Choudhary:awesome:

    Furthermore, you seem to confuse the concepts of evil and intelligence in your posts; Stalin was both extremely intelligent and exceptionally evil. He has an intelligence which you do not seem to have accounted for: a 'Machiavellian intelligence'. It's an intellect in the political sense that Stalin had in abundance, just like Caeser and just like Augustus centuries ago. Stalin knew how to control power in a way that no one in the 20th century was able to do. His five year plans transformed Russia from a backwater post-feudal dump into the World's second strongest superpower with the largest standing army in 1945; not only does this sort of achievement take an iron political will it requires a high level of political skill. This man ruled the USSR for 30 years through fear and manipulation, normally for leaders to rule in such a manner is highly self-destructive as they end up losing power through a coup or a revolution; but Stalin made this political stratagem work. This man was no idiot by any means.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    What's this got to do with "Marxism"?

    As you correctly identified this school of thought is peculiar to Trotskyists and Leninists. Marx had been dead for several decades by the time of the USSR's inception.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by JIRAIYA-ERO-SENNIN)
    You know who else has a degree in law? Anjem Choudhary:awesome:

    Furthermore, you seem to confuse the concepts of evil and intelligence in your posts; Stalin was both extremely intelligent and exceptionally evil. He has an intelligence which you do not seem to have accounted for: a 'Machiavellian intelligence'. It's an intellect in the political sense that Stalin had in abundance, just like Caeser and just like Augustus centuries ago. Stalin knew how to control power in a way that no one in the 20th century was able to do. His five year plans transformed Russia from a backwater post-feudal dump into the World's second strongest superpower with the largest standing army in 1945; not only does this sort of achievement take an iron political will it requires a high level of political skill. This man ruled the USSR for 30 years through fear and manipulation, normally for leaders to rule in such a manner is highly self-destructive as they end up losing power through a coup or a revolution; but Stalin made this political stratagem work. This man was no idiot by any means.
    Lolz so much for the super-power(!) Yes we did send Yuri Gagarin into space but then again people were starving and the shops were empty of food. Only thing Stalin was concerned about was him image and how he was portrayed in the West. I don't like this man, I never will. I respect Lenin, and I can't be asked to plunge myself into this discussion at 00:52 in the morning so I'm going to bed. Goodnight all.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by chainedheart)
    Lolz so much for the super-power(!) Yes we did send Yuri Gagarin into space but then again people were starving and the shops were empty of food. Only thing Stalin was concerned about was him image and how he was portrayed in the West. I don't like this man, I never will. I respect Lenin, and I can't be asked to plunge myself into this discussion at 00:52 in the morning so I'm going to bed. Goodnight all.
    I'm not asking you to like Stalin, I'm asking you to acknowledge his intelligence and political skill. The problem you have is that you can't detach yourself and take an impartial view; you moralize too much, at the expense of good judgement. Russia was always starving, Russia was far poorer in the beginning of Stalin's reign than it was at the end of his reign. Stalin industrialized Russia, turning it into a modern state with a modern infrastructure; if he hadn't have done this, by 1941 Russia would have been completely annihilated by the Germans in WW2; then you wouldn't even have a Russia to speak of.

    Stalin was evil, but he was supremely intelligent too.
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Stempede)
    Well, yes USSR wasn't a communist or even socialist state. It was left totalitarian dictatorship established by Lenin and solidified by Stalin. If you want to ruin some apologetic arguments of those who think that the Soviet Union was a viable socialist regime as an alternative to capitalism than the vast majority of such people were disillusioned in 1968 during the Prague spring.
    In this list I can extend your definition of "Forced labour initiatives and severe penalties for absence". It was called War Communism that inferred special procurement schemes where each village should have delivered a planned amount of grain and if they failed to do so they were punished via repressions.

    P.S. However, I just want to add that Stalin indeed followed Lenin's political course. What is not true though is that he didn't follow Marx's ideals but only Lenin's interpretations of them. Therefore, he created dictatorship rather than pursued pure communism.
    Pretty much this.

    Why would you name your thread 'The Great Marxist Lie' when the views your criticising weren't those of Marx or many of his followers?


    (Original post by Algorithm69)
    I'm sorry but your entire post sounds like a No True Scotsman Fallacy to me.
    Not it isn't.

    A 'No True Scotsman Fallacy' would go something like this:

    Marxist: All Communist societies are good.
    Non-Marxist: The USSR was communist, and it was bad.
    Marxist: Well, all true communist societies are good.

    However, the fallacy is illegitimate (could have phrased that better) because the Non-Marxist's claim that the USSR was communist is a false one. A communist society is characterised by classlessness structured upon communal ownership of the means of production. The USSR was an authoritarian dictatorship, there was no communal ownership of the means of production. Hence, the USSR was not an example of communism in action.

    And my post was specifically targeting Leninists and Trotskyists who do still exist and do still propagate this lie.
    Again, thread title begs to differ.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Stalin)
    Blame Stalin.
    Wow, great contribution.
    As usual.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Algorithm69)
    A communist utopia would never have occurred because Leninism itself is a brutal and totalitarian system.
    A communist utopia would never have occurred not only because a 'utopia' can never occur but also because communist ideology is inherently false and evil.

    Another thing to add to your list would be that under the Party Leadership of Lenin, the Soviets took part in a bloody expansionist war into Poland.

    (Original post by Democracy)
    What's this got to do with "Marxism"?

    As you correctly identified this school of thought is peculiar to Trotskyists and Leninists. Marx had been dead for several decades by the time of the USSR's inception.
    It might have something to do with the fact that every attempted implementation of Marxist ideas (with the U.S.S.R being the most obvious example) has resulted in vicious Satanic tyranny. Marxism is evil at its very core.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by IFondledAGibbon)
    Pretty much this.

    Why would you name your thread 'The Great Marxist Lie' when the views your criticising weren't those of Marx or many of his followers?
    In fact, this debate does drive at the heart of Marxism itself. For Lenin and Stalin were consciously acting on the theories of Marx, and their ultimate goal was the abolition of private property, profit and the market - as put forth in the Communist Manifesto. This was in fact achieved officially under Stalin for the first time anywhere in history in the 1930s - though of course the suppression of the market did not bring about Socialist utopia as anticipated.

    As quoted from the Russian Review, introducing a debate on Stalinism in 1986, 'what is primary at issue is not the applicability of the totalitarian model to Stalin's Russia... What is at issue is socialism. For some, it is a matter of moral urgency to link the victims of Stalinist terror to socialism; for others, it is no less urgent to detach the terror from the socialist cause and show it to be an aberration ... [and thereby to] uphold the honor of Soviet socialism...'

    And so behind the 'aberration thesis' there has always lurked a concern for the universal honour of socialism, and of course Marxism itself.
 
 
 
Poll
Black Friday: Yay or Nay?
Useful resources

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.