Without Communism, is Russia likely to experience a suburban boom in the late 20th and 21st centuries like the US experienced?

Theodoric

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Mar 2012
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Yötebory Sveriya
Without Communism, is Russia likely to experience a suburban boom in the late 20th and 21st centuries like the US experienced? I'm asking about Russia specifically because, like the US, it has an enormous amount of space and is what one might refer to as a pioneer country and a pioneer society.

Anyway, any thoughts on this?
I don't think it would be the case. I think they'd be much worse off.

Russia had lost the great war. They were ruined as a nation, impoverished. If the Soviet Socialist revolution never occurred then we wouldn't have seen the economic reforms and stiff industrialization that turned them into becoming the world's second largest superpower. It is true that Stalin and the Bolsheviks basically enslaved the populace, but that situation wouldn't have been different had the Czardom survived, or if any other kind of republic replaced the Czardom afterward. What is more likely? Russian democracy or Slavic fascism?

During the second world war, a weaker Russia would have meant greater slaughter at the hands of Fascist Germans. Perhaps the result of the Eastern front would have been different.

Russia suffered tremendously as is due to the second world war. This would be an even worse disaster.

Aside from lower population and a lack of infrastructure, the Cold War technological boom wouldn't have occurred.

The Totalitarian organization was brutal and oppressive, but it was an effective phase of fast modernization, similar to what the "greatest" Czars of the past had done - but with even greater authority. We know what happened in Europe in the years after the first world war, we also know that without Russia ramping up so quickly that they would have suffered a far greater loss in WW2 - as much as 3/4ths of their population; and similar situations would be true for other Slavic nations as it was in the planning books by the fascist Germans who wished to expand across those lands.

Assuming the whole thing is still in one piece, today's Russia would resemble a giant Khazakstan.
 
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Theodoric

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Mar 2012
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His policies like Lenin's were informed by the fact he was doing a revolution(or at least used it as a backdrop for propaganda) where a key component was supposed to be having an industrialized society you've taken over not what is basically the real life equivalent of the minecraft world. They were not inherently right, you can industrialize other ways, then Central planning and the fact they not only did it themselves but made the model they pushed on the rest of their sphere of influence is sad. Lenin should be excused because he was fighting multiple existential civil wars at once and never got a chance to rule during peace. Stalin's worst atrocities came during peacetime when there was no justification for them.


Stalin was basically a more powerful version of what the Kim family became a tsar/King using leftist ideology to pretend they are not King's. If Hitler hadn't wanted to slaughter everyone Germany did enough to defeat Stalin by an infinite degree, Stalin didn't win on the merits, his people didn't have a choice. It's why the Russians rebelled to leave WWI and chased the Germans back into Europe because giving up wasn't an option. Most governments need to pretend their opponents are Satan to motivate the public, the fact Hitler took care of that for Stalin was a huge moral advantage almost no one else in history has been given(at least the same way). The West didn't have the same risk on the line(at least personally) and the Poles were trapped between the Germans and Soviets not exactly going to be enthusiastic going either way in that situation. If the SS officer wanted to know why the Soviets were so motivated he should have looked in the mirror.

And how does Russia having talented young officers mean the purge didn't hurt or wasn't a bad idea? Soviet Union's a large country they have a lot of people, purge doesn't mean they rid the country of every single capable officer and four years later none had reemerged.

Again if Hitler had invaded Tsarist Russia, the public would not have overthrown the Tsar to end the war, it wouldn't be an option. Those scenarios are not the same, most countries can't stomach war conditions if there's a slightly better alternative, if the alternative is to die, well you're pushing them into a corner. Compare the amount of soldiers and civilians the Russians lost in WWI compared to WWII? The Russian people in WWI were hungry and mad, they weren't scared, the Germans hadn't even hit Russia proper yet, furthest they got in terms of major Russian centers was Riga. Not saying the Soviets didn't have more competent people, when you get rid of a middle age military where jobs are given out based on lineage not merit things tend to get better, but that doesn't explain the difference in the outcome. Germany beat Russia up considerably worse in WWII a war they lost than WWI a war they won(on that front). It's not even close the only reason WWII is a more positive outcome is cause it's a loss and WWII is technically a win. In the East Hitler killed up to the aggregate of the population of Italy France(well over the adult populations of those places), it's not a matter of the Russians having more heart, other countries would just not exist anymore and Russia had more people.

Humiliation isn't good but if as a leader you're given the choice between the humiliation of Brest-LItovsk and the Russo-Japanese War versus the glorious victory in WWII, the former is still the objectively correct and responsible decision.
So essentially, it would be the same society, just a Czardom rather than a Republic.
The fact that Russia industrialized so quickly after being ruined in WW1 is an incredibly unlikely scenario without the totalitarian regime. Would the mechanics of the traditional Czardom have been as effective as the complete re-working that Stalinism did? I don't think so. The likelihood is Russia's evisceration in the second war.

Now! If we did this thought experiment WITHOUT fascism being a factor, then I would switch my view to Russia (and everyone) being far better off.

Another interesting thought would be if the actual socialists dominated the Bolsheviks, and instead, we got a decentralized revolutionary socialist state with strong democratic values. How would that success impact Russia and Europe?
 

starman

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Jan 2014
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Connecticut
So essentially, it would be the same society, just a Czardom rather than a Republic.
The fact that Russia industrialized so quickly after being ruined in WW1 is an incredibly unlikely scenario without the totalitarian regime. Would the mechanics of the traditional Czardom have been as effective as the complete re-working that Stalinism did? I don't think so. The likelihood is Russia's evisceration in the second war.
Exactly. Russia btw would’ve been just as doomed if democracy had won out in 1917. As I noted earlier, crash industrialization required enormous sacrifices—a lot of hard work for little personal reward, as the emphasis had to be on capital investment not consumption. I very much doubt the masses would’ve voted for any leader favoring or implementing such a policy, however vital. Same would’ve been true of massive defense preparations in peacetime.

Another interesting thought would be if the actual socialists dominated the Bolsheviks, and instead, we got a decentralized revolutionary socialist state with strong democratic values. How would that success impact Russia and Europe?
Russia would’ve been eaten alive in 1941-42.
 
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Jun 2019
61
St.Petersburg
Russia would’ve been eaten alive in 1941-42.
It's not so evident.
1st of all - Stalin banned the German Communists election alliance with the Social Democrats in 1933, and so opened the road to power for Hitler. The world had a real chance to avoid WW2.
2. Intense militarization of the USSR made Hitler nervous. His generals were terrified of the war on two fronts, but Stalin’s attack in 1941 seemed plausible.
3. Intensive industrialization cost millions of lives - possible future soldiers.
4. Stalin collected huge amount of tanks and aircrafts, much more, than Hitler had in 1941, but lost almost all because of incompetent army leadership. Cruel repression had drained the top of the army
5. The last but not the least. WW2 was started in fact by the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Without an agreement (even temporary) with Stalin, Hitler would not risk to attack Poland.
 
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Futurist

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May 2014
22,327
SoCal
It's not so evident.
1st of all - Stalin banned the German Communists election alliance with the Social Democrats in 1933, and so opened the road to power for Hitler. The world had a real chance to avoid WW2.
2. Intense militarization of the USSR made Hitler nervous. His generals were terrified of the war on two fronts, but Stalin’s attack in 1941 seemed plausible.
3. Intensive industrialization cost millions of lives - possible future soldiers.
4. Stalin collected huge amount of tanks and aircrafts, much more, than Hitler had in 1941, but lost almost all because of incompetent army leadership. Cruel repression had drained the top of the army
5. The last but not the least. WW2 was started in fact by the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Without an agreement (even temporary) with Stalin, Hitler would not risk to attack Poland.
Did the German Communists and Social Democrats actually have enough combined political power to stop Hitler, though?

I do agree with the rest of your points here, though. Even if war had broken out in 1939, a Russia that would have already been allied with Britain and France would have made it harder for Hitler to defeat France.
 
Jun 2019
61
St.Petersburg
Did the German Communists and Social Democrats actually have enough combined political power to stop Hitler, though?
I meant November 1932 elections, not 1933, sorry. SD and communists got 37% together, against nazi 33%, not an absolute majority though, but a chance to build extended coalition with other parties.
Without communists it was not possible at all ( NSDAP + KPD = 50.7%) . I'm not sure, if there was a realistic chance to build such coalition without Stalin's influence, but Comintern blocked any alternatives.
 
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starman

Ad Honorem
Jan 2014
4,118
Connecticut
It's not so evident.
1st of all - Stalin banned the German Communists election alliance with the Social Democrats in 1933, and so opened the road to power for Hitler. The world had a real chance to avoid WW2.
2. Intense militarization of the USSR made Hitler nervous. His generals were terrified of the war on two fronts, but Stalin’s attack in 1941 seemed plausible.
3. Intensive industrialization cost millions of lives - possible future soldiers.
4. Stalin collected huge amount of tanks and aircrafts, much more, than Hitler had in 1941, but lost almost all because of incompetent army leadership. Cruel repression had drained the top of the army
5. The last but not the least. WW2 was started in fact by the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Without an agreement (even temporary) with Stalin, Hitler would not risk to attack Poland.
Again I don’t doubt mistakes were made, but Stalin’s type of leadership was basically correct. I think it was collectivization not industrialization that cost a lot of lives. In any event no number of soldiers was any use without industrialization to equip them and Russia had more than enough soldiers and good enough leadership to win. Churchill himself understood why Stalin made a deal with the Reich in 1939. The western allies to then hadn’t seemed very determined or capable and he didn’t want to be “maneuvered into the disastrous position of having to fight Germany alone.” Huge losses in 1941 resulted from German tactical ability; the democracies to then hardly did better.
 
Jun 2019
61
St.Petersburg
I think it was collectivization not industrialization that cost a lot of lives.
Industrialization needs money, a lot of money. Collectivization was a way to get as much income, as possible from the agricultural sector in a short time.
Churchill himself understood why Stalin made a deal with the Reich in 1939.
Churchill was a perfect diplomat, and never said anything, what the allies might not like.
In any event no number of soldiers was any use without industrialization to equip them
Human resources are not only soldiers, but also industrial workers, peasants to feed the army during the war and so on.
Huge losses in 1941 resulted from German tactical ability; the democracies to then hardly did better.
Stalin had more tanks than all other countries in Europe taken together, but the repressed commanders of the army destroyed this advantage gained at the cost of millions of lives.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
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SoCal
@Farquaad What are your thoughts on my original question here? It would be interesting to hear a Russian's opinion on this.
 
Jun 2019
61
St.Petersburg
I can only describe my local situation, not sure if it is the same around the Moscow or smaller towns. There was definitely a boom of individual houses construction in 90th and the next decade, but now it's stagnating. There is some activity in apartment houses / condominiums construction, much cheaper, than any accommodation inside the city. The main problem is infrastructure, it is still too poor. That can be ok for retirees, dreaming of a personal garden, but not suitable for families with children, except usage as summer house (russian - dacha). The road map now is much better, compared to Soviet times, but the number of private cars has also grown dramatically, so the traffic is often hard. So the most of families with children prefer city accommodation, closer to shopping, good schools, medical offices and so on.
 
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