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Old November 19th, 2017, 05:21 AM   #71

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Originally Posted by Linschoten View Post
Hitler had even greater initial success, and yet so many people are still unwilling to acknowledge the equally appalling record of communism, tens of millions of dead being only the beginning of it. Marx's economic and social analysis was deeply flawed in any ways, but the problem with his thought was the way in which he developed a pseud-science which could be used to justify the establishment and ruthless maintenance of totalitarian societies. In the long run, the main benefit of the disastrous failure of the Communist experiments has been to (most!) people against all-encompassing political ideologies.
It's been an engaging thread thus far, in several ways, and to various heights! I particularly (recently?) appreciate Linschoten's as above. I'm not so sure how far this has spread throughout the western world and beyond, and how far the countering reaction to the 2008 Crash is happening in all its erroneous forms. But nonetheless a lesson that can be learned.
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Old November 19th, 2017, 11:01 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Linschoten View Post
Hitler had even greater initial success, and yet so many people are still unwilling to acknowledge the equally appalling record of communism, tens of millions of dead being only the beginning of it. Marx's economic and social analysis was deeply flawed in any ways, but the problem with his thought was the way in which he developed a pseud-science which could be used to justify the establishment and ruthless maintenance of totalitarian societies. In the long run, the main benefit of the disastrous failure of the Communist experiments has been to (most!) people against all-encompassing political ideologies.
Well an issue here is that socialism, marxism and communism and all of it's offshoot ideologies are quite different and those differences are quite complex and many times attacks on Communism are interpreted as attacks on Socialism both by attackers who don't know what Communism is and use it to attack leftists and defenders who don't know what Communism is and perceive it as an attack on their own ideology. If there is ambiguity and confusion about Nazism there is very little about whether it is good or bad or not.
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Old November 19th, 2017, 11:44 AM   #73

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^ I don't think most people have the time or the inclination to read extensively especially about political ideology - and especially when it is written in as hard to understand style as possible, (a bit like much of philosophy?), in order to make the author appear so intelligent, that the text must be so intelligent, and not far wrong thereby. But if nobody really reads them, only the fanatics and ideologues, are the ones that might espouse such opinions, at some point, perhaps only in the form of policy.

People know about communism and fascism (in power), so they don't have to have read one or the other, or any other ideology, in order to know they ought to be against them.
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Old December 3rd, 2017, 08:44 AM   #74
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This anniversary helped to prompt my latest reading choice. I've spent this month steadily devouring the first two volumes of Stephen Kotkin's magisterial biography of Joseph Stalin: Paradoxes of Power (1878-1928) and Waiting for Hitler (1929-1941).

I cannot recommend them highly enough for anyone interested in this area of modern history. It's undoubtedly one of the best multi-volume biographies I've ever read - although "biography" as a descriptor doesn't really do justice to the scale of the geopolitical, social, and ideological perspective that Kotkin weaves into his account of Stalin's life.

The sections in the first volume dealing with the Russian Revolution are worth the price of admission alone. It was a genuine revelation to me that the course of events was so heavily dependent on the personalities of Lenin and Trotsky. It may have been more or less unavoidable that a leftist regime was going to supplant the Provisional Government, but the fact that it was the Bolsheviks who gained control of Russia was pretty much the opposite of inevitable. As Kotkin writes, the history of the 20th Century could have been altered out of all recognition with just two bullets.

Reading that history, I was also struck by certain aspects of continuity between the travails of the early Soviet Union and the old Tsarist regime. The Russian Revolution basically grew out of Imperial Russia's desperate need to modernize - economically, militarily, politically - in order to keep up with their European rivals, only to find that "modernization" badly undermined the historic power structure of the country. Tsar Nicholas II was an absolute fool, but many of the statesmen who served him were truly brilliant. But even the best of them couldn't devise a modernizing formula that didn't inflame the appetite of the masses for social changes that couldn't be satisfied without totally changing the character of the government. The best solution the Tsarist regime could come up with was mass political repression and trying to slow the pace of reform - but that just exacerbated the original problem of making Russia vulnerable to its geopolitical rivals, and brought the whole thing crashing down.

In the end, after the Bolsheviks had consolidated their rule, the dilemma was even more acute: it was imperative for them to modernize a peasant country, that was encircled by hostile capitalist powers. Enter Stalin, whose "solution" was to utilize the powers of totalitarian dictatorship to enforce the transition to fully collectivized industrial economy in the space of a decade, no matter how many lives were lost in the process. There was absolutely no reason except for sheer ideological madness that collectivization and industrialization had to be achieved simultaneously, and Stalin's fanatical refusal to deviate from his chosen course of action almost destroyed his government, and Russia. He was saved by the onset of the Great Depression, which made the Western powers so desperate for lucrative new partners for trade and investment that they were willing to bury the hatchet with one of the most evil regimes in the world.

The consequent "success" of Stalin's economic policies exerted a tragic influence over history, as subsequent Communist dictators - most notably including Mao - sought to emulate his example in the belief that the millions upon millions of deaths he had caused were a necessary, in fact desirable, part of becoming a (Marxist) great economic power.

It's strange to consider that if someone other than the Bolsheviks had wound up in control of Russia after WWI, Karl Marx might have become an obscure and relatively unimportant figure in the history of ideas. Instead, the chain of events and personalities that caused a party of fanatical ideological devotees to his creed to gain control of one of the great imperial powers of modern history, created a butcher's bill that defies calculation.
Nicely written!
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Old December 3rd, 2017, 08:49 AM   #75
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Then you have a cold heart. The slaughter of the crown was repulsive and reprehensible. They are true martyrs and sit on God's Divine Council as we speak, friend.

The Soviets went after THE CROWN and THE CHURCH. They wanted to uproot the traditional Russian society. That was their goal.
I agree that the slaughter was “repulsive and reprehensible”. What is god's “Divine Council” and when does it meet?
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Old December 3rd, 2017, 09:03 AM   #76
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that of international powers, say, Lenin was a German agent, Trotsky was America's etc.
LOL, I just knew you’d find a way to blame America for this!
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Old December 3rd, 2017, 09:14 AM   #77

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See also -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allied...sian_Civil_War


See also -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarthyism
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Old December 3rd, 2017, 09:16 AM   #78
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The Great October Socialist Revolution stands in the row of another 2 great revolutions, that shaped the modernity:
the English bourgeois revolution of 1640-1649
the Great French Revolution of 1789-1794.
By all means, let’s not mention the most successful revolution of them all: the American Revolution. Maybe it doesn’t count because it didn’t result in rivers of blood and mass social mayhem. People who idolize the French Revolution need to have their heads examined.
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Old December 3rd, 2017, 09:33 AM   #79

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In general, people insist upon learning by making their own mistakes instead of by observing others and learning and writing it down so they don't forget why it went wrong.
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Old December 3rd, 2017, 01:36 PM   #80

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^ Upbringing only goes so far.
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