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    (Original post by Adorno)
    Again: it really wasn't! Pray tell what was the last book you read on the Soviet Union?

    Have you read the work of Sheila Fitzpatrick, Moshe Lewin, J. Arch Getty, Sarah Davies, Lynne Viola and countless others who have demolished this cold war "totalitarian" model of understanding the Soviet Union?

    The fact is the Soviet Union was far more complex than just slating it as "totalitarian" can ever accommodate.
    I understand that it was complex but if you look at the USSR and Italian fascism for example, the control the USSR had over the citizens was far greater. There was far more of the thought crime in the USSR than in any of the fascist systems.
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    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    I understand that it was complex but if you look at the USSR and Italian fascism for example, the control the USSR had over the citizens was far greater. There was far more of the thought crime in the USSR than in any of the fascist systems.
    Gahhhhhhhh.

    I don't know why I bother. That's the POINT of the work of the historians I cited - the USSR had less control over its citizens than is popularly imagined.
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    (Original post by littleshambles)
    Really, what exactly about Nazi policy do you find "less abhorrent" than Stalinist policy?
    It's not really the policy I was talking about but how the Nazi state was weaker than that of the Marxist-Leninists. The state of the Italian fascists was even weaker than that of the Germans.
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    (Original post by Adorno)
    Gahhhhhhhh.

    I don't know why I bother. That's the POINT of the work of the historians I cited - the USSR had less control over its citizens than is popularly imagined.
    I wouldn't bother Don_Scott can only think in caricatures

    I highly recommend the work of Sheila Fitzpatrick, however, an excellent historian.

    Ian Kershaw is also highly useful for his insights into the operation of the Third Reich, as a contrast of course.
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    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    It's not really the policy I was talking about but how the Nazi state was weaker than that of the Marxist-Leninists. The state of the Italian fascists was even weaker than that of the Germans.
    Firstly, I see no reason why the comparative strength of a state has any logical relation to the comparative wickedness of its acts.

    Secondly I would argue the converse - the USSR was weaker as a state because it needed to use greater active repression to maintain its position (e.g. collectivisation, which attempted to bring the peasantry to heel, so to speak. The peasantry responded by, amongst other things, massacring its livestock in protest). Most Gestapo investigations, on the other hand, were precipitated by civilian denunciations.
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    (Original post by Andy the Anarchist)
    I wouldn't bother Don_Scott can only think in caricatures

    I highly recommend the work of Sheila Fitzpatrick, however, an excellent historian.

    Ian Kershaw is also highly useful for his insights into the operation of the Third Reich, as a contrast of course.
    :love:
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    Hmmm, no.
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    (Original post by SaoPaolo90)
    Yes, a political system wanting equality for all is much worse than the Nazi regime for example. What a moronic post.
    Stalin? Mao? Pol Pot?

    No, you're right, the quest for 'equality' has never done harm. Moron.
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    I'd resist it.
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    (Original post by Oculist)
    No, you're right, the quest for 'equality' has never done harm. Moron.
    The injustices committed by Socialists were not due to socialism. Socialism does not advocate (indeed it should do quite the opposite) violence.

    And what sort of revolution is OP meaning?
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    (Original post by Oculist)
    Stalin? Mao? Pol Pot?

    No, you're right, the quest for 'equality' has never done harm. Moron.
    Yes, I'm a moron for seeing a discernible difference between socialism and communism.
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    No.
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    (Original post by dn013)
    Specific parts of the country suffered, but as a whole the living standards of the UK have improved in all areas. After all there is a reason why all these regions failed, because they were not economically sustainable with government funding - why should tax payers in Devon pay for dock workers in Liverpool who obviously are not as efficient as dock workers in other parts of the region. It was a waste of valuable money.
    But her concern was not the efficiency of the workers - her concern was the modernity of the trade itself. Her plan was to modernise the economy, so she cut off one of our major sources of income which was very difficult to replace and thus we were plunged into a mass of unemployment - not really something that I would think justifiable by saying that "they were a waste of money". It is not an acceptable method of government in my opinion to justify one's actions by saying that things are "a waste of valuable money", as we've seen the negative effects of such a unilateral approach.
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    hmm difficult one, ha I guess a socialist country can work out really well but at the other hand I dont see why we should get rit of the monarchy.. I think it has something nice about it, al though they could like spent less money and give it to the people =D
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    (Original post by Adorno)
    Gahhhhhhhh.

    I don't know why I bother. That's the POINT of the work of the historians I cited - the USSR had less control over its citizens than is popularly imagined.
    I'd like to hear your argument spelt out in a little more detail; in what sense, specifically, is this the case? As far as I know from the revisionist school (which is admittedly not a great deal) they try to explain (critics would say enter into apologetics for) the excesses of the Soviet Regime by arguing that they were somehow motivated from the bottom up; now, whether or not this is true, it doesn't, in my view, cast any doubt on the level of control the USSR had over its citizens but rather where the motivation for its actions came from. The two are obviously very different things.
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    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    I'd like to hear your argument spelt out in a little more detail; in what sense, specifically, is this the case? As far as I know from the revisionist school (which is admittedly not a great deal) they try to explain (critics would say enter into apologetics for) the excesses of the Soviet Regime by arguing that they were somehow motivated from the bottom up; now, whether or not this is true, it doesn't, in my view, cast any doubt on the level of control the USSR had over its citizens but rather where the motivation for its actions came from. The two are obviously very different things.
    The differences between the revisionists are substantial in some cases but I'll give it a go. Consider that historians such as Sheila Fitzpatrick have called for Soviet History to, yes, be written from below but also to be written utilising the thought processes of social rather than high-political historians and you start to see what I mean by being more complicated and certainly far less totalitarian than you'd find people such as Leonard Schapiro arguing. Take, for instance, David Hoffman's book "Peasant Metropolis", which to me is a wonderful examination of just how people adapted in Soviet Russia crossing from the countryside to the cities. Now, in that book he argues that there was a great deal of cultural stubbornness, that the older generations "resisted" the regime as much as they could sometimes actively but more often than not passively: through the continuation of peasant songs, peasant rituals, etc. Similar kinds of stories emerge not only from the work of Fitzpatrick and Lynne Viola but also from the work of anthropologists such as Margaret Paxson. For many of these scholars, the tentacles of the state emerge, very often, as bureaucratic tendrils which had the effect of turning life from multicolour into damp, dark grey. [I got this idea of "colours" from a Polish lady I was talking to over the weekend].

    And this is the point really: Soviet History, until people such as Fitzpatrick came along, was written pretty much solely from the perspective of high politics. Stalin, Lenin, and Kirov were more likely to enter into the fray than were ordinary people, which only serves to amplify the power of politicians over their subjects. Now, the same thing basically happened in the UK up until the 1960s when the social history crowd emerged. High politics ruled the roost and the existence of ordinary people was left to (in Thompson's words) the condescension of posterity. Taking a social history (even, now, with Figes a cultural history) swipe at the Soviet Union undermines many of the facets of the totalitarian model though it does not - and indeed should not - remove them all, hence my point about bureaucracy.

    Now, the history of the USSR is not alone in this kind of revisionism. Ian Kershaw has already been mentioned. I might also mention Tony Mason who wrote quite fascinating works on how the working class operated under the Nazi regime. On East Germany, the work of Mary Fulbrook has helped to demolish a number of the 'totalitarian' insistences of old "cold warriors". Similarly Norman Davies on Poland - though he ended up being a Polish nationalist apologist for some reason. So right across the former Eastern Bloc you have revisionist historians who have demonstrated the resilience of people and their ability to resist a regime to the extent that they could fashion daily lives in which their most oppressive meeting with the state was the greyness of bureaucracy.

    It's a fascinating topic but it's hard to debate it with people who haven't read the literature. :o:
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    (Original post by SaoPaolo90)
    But her concern was not the efficiency of the workers - her concern was the modernity of the trade itself. Her plan was to modernise the economy, so she cut off one of our major sources of income which was very difficult to replace and thus we were plunged into a mass of unemployment - not really something that I would think justifiable by saying that "they were a waste of money". It is not an acceptable method of government in my opinion to justify one's actions by saying that things are "a waste of valuable money", as we've seen the negative effects of such a unilateral approach.
    Those industries were not money makers at all, they were all government subsidized because they were so inefficient. Why do you think they collapsed when the government stopped funding them? Why do you think she 'modernized trade?' Because that was the best way to improve the economy and take it away from the quagmire of secondary industry - which was being overtaken by NICs in the developing world as a result of GLOBALIZATION.
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    (Original post by dn013)
    Those industries were not money makers at all, they were all government subsidized because they were so inefficient. Why do you think they collapsed when the government stopped funding them? Why do you think she 'modernized trade?' Because that was the best way to improve the economy and take it away from the quagmire of secondary industry - which was being overtaken by NICs in the developing world as a result of GLOBALIZATION.
    I don't object to the closing of the docks as much as I object to the closing of the docks without any real alternative. I think the fact that so many people became unemployed after the funding was stopped shows that the funding was not a waste of money - it helped keep thousands of people in a job. The money that was taken away from us set us back about a decade, so it certainly was not a waste of money. If there'd been an alternative, something tertiary that could have been developed with government aid in its place, then that would have been more acceptable. But the funding was taken away and not replaced, and that is no way to spurn of economic growth.
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    I think the phrase is, over my dead body.
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    (Original post by Lachlan)
    I think the phrase is, over my dead body.
    Agreed.

    Since when has "freedom" even been a part of socialism? It's generally the left wing governments that are the most controlling (state owned businesses, command and control economy, etc). The BNP are far left.
 
 
 
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