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ann post

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Communism was an utter catastrophe

Communism has never happened in known history because it has always had to interact with capitalism.

I'm not saying that proves anything because you are not going to get a communist planet ever, maybe it's just informative. They were never not buying fords on pallets for the farmers or selling to the free market, so it was always dictated by external, politically motivated actors.
 

flashback

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and america (as seemed quite likely at the time)
I found it interesting to learn how left wing / worker oriented the US was* a hundred odd years ago. This wasn't just sporadic pockets of people radicalized by the Shirtwaist factory fire or something like that; this was a nation wide, popular, well organised leftist movement.
In the late 1800s / early 1900s there were reasonably sized groups of anarchists, socialists, communists, and an increasingly strong union movement. This wasn't fringe stuff, this was populist leftism, and it continued up until WWI.

But for a moment the US was on a different path.

*edit
I should have written "almost became" - it was still very capitalist, I meant to say it had a genuine wobble where workers almost got it together at one point in time.
 

egg_

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Communism has never happened in known history because it has always had to interact with capitalism.
When people say "communism" they can mean one of the abstract political systems imagined by the likes of Marx/Engels or Trotsky or whoever OR one of the real political systems with the same name that were in place at various stages in Russia, China, Vietnam, Cuba, etc. Saying "communism has never happened" is kinda pretending that the second sense of the word doesn't exist

(obvs I'm in a real disagreeing mood today)
 

Deadmanposting

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Communism has never happened in known history because it has always had to interact with capitalism.

I'm not saying that proves anything because you are not going to get a communist planet ever, maybe it's just informative. They were never not buying fords on pallets for the farmers or selling to the free market, so it was always dictated by external, politically motivated actors.
So it can only exist in a thought experiment and it always works there
But never in the real world

Less concerned with the economics than the effect on citizens
Look at what the Stasi did. Look what the KGB did. Look what FSB are doing now. Look at the Uyghurs.
The system requires conformity of thought.
Look at Russia, basically shitting out world class writers before the revolution, it was a place where thinking and reflection and questioning were rewarded and gave the world such gifts.
Fast forward to communism and you get thrown in the gulag for basically having an opinion, or even suspected of it.
Capitalism did none of that. People did.

Communism doesn't work because it interacts with people.
It's misery for huge amounts of its citizens.
No country exists in autarky, but Russia and China could have made a go of it economically. They theoretically didn't need anything from anyone else. One collapsed and the other tapped out.

I can't believe we all watched Communism go into a tailspin of misery almost everywhere it was tried, and there are still people going "Well, nevertheless"
 

egg_

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Look at Russia, basically shitting out world class writers before the revolution, it was a place where thinking and reflection and questioning were rewarded and gave the world such gifts.
Russia under the tsars was pretty terrible too afaik (they even had secret police - that wasn't a communist invention). They didn't have a revolution just for the laugh
 

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Haha fucking steady on there dude. @taubstumm is describing a work of fiction

Ah, I know
Didn't mean to go off on one

I mean if we can try communism again, why not fuedalism?

That said, I'd read a what-if book on what would have happened if Europeans had never fucked up (i.e. visited) the rest of the planet
No offence intended to @taubstumm - mein Bruder
 

flashback

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So it can only exist in a thought experiment and it always works there
But never in the real world
not sure how you're defining Communism, but if it's something that can't work in the real world / is bound to fail why are Imperialist regimes so frightened of it?

Salvador Allende was a Marxist, who was elected in peaceful fair elections. Mosaddegh (peaceful fair elections) might not have defined himself as a Marxist, but he certainly very keen on transfer of assets to the people. In both these example the US shit themselves and funded revolutions and ensured the return of authoritarian right wing powers.

This shitshow of "repression, lies and death" you're talking about though is regularly not coming from the elected leftist leaders, it's coming from Capitalist powers, who are for reasons unknown terrified of the left gaining a foothold.
 

Deadmanposting

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Russia under the tsars was pretty terrible too afaik (they even had secret police - that wasn't a communist invention). They didn't have a revolution just for the laugh
Ah, i know. Definitely.

Nowhere was having a great go of it under royalty at that time. RUssia probably in particular.
But to extinguish all that thought, that tradition of "what are we here for?" "what is life?" in the form of stories.

The Bolsheviks burned it all to the ground in the name of progress
We never got another Chekhov, another Tolstoy
We got Solzhenitsyn and the Strugatskys - writers just trying to make sense of a country that is now also a prison.
It's a rotten diminishing of what came before. Emblematic of how communism is decay. For me anyways.


Excuse me, I've had a bunch of tea and coffee this afternoon.
 

ann post

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When people say "communism" they can mean one of the abstract political systems imagined by the likes of Marx/Engels or Trotsky or whoever OR one of the real political systems with the same name that were in place at various stages in Russia, China, Vietnam, Cuba, etc. Saying "communism has never happened" is kinda pretending that the second sense of the word doesn't exist

(obvs I'm in a real disagreeing mood today)

abstract things are things that have not happened, egg
 

egg_

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This shitshow of "repression, lies and death" you're talking about though is regularly not coming from the elected leftist leaders, it's coming from Capitalist powers, who are for reasons unknown terrified of the left gaining a foothold
I'm actually coming around to the view that re-education camps and show trials and thought policing are in fact a feature of ideology-based regimes rather than a bug. This is based on My Lived Experience, and on some reading/thinking about religion-based regimes after the Reformation

Maybe the right was right about us.
 

Deadmanposting

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This shitshow of "repression, lies and death" you're talking about though is regularly not coming from the elected leftist leaders, it's coming from Capitalist powers, who are for reasons unknown terrified of the left gaining a foothold.
Capitalists didn't build the gulags or have the secret police watch everyone
These systems have always needed repression of their own people to survive. Stalin killed what? 20 million? Of his own kind.
The CIA didn't do that.

The question for me is - why were communist governments so afraid of their own people? Enough to murder them wholesale.
The Chinese don't have the Uyghurs in camps because they're a afraid of the West. They do it because these totalitarian regimes feel the need to do this to survive.
The idea that there is some kumbaya version of totalitarianism out there - if we could just get it right and stop the West interfering - is the kind of bullshit these regimes and their glorious leaders would have you believe.

I don't have a football team in this - and I am not going to defend capitalism
I don't have a particular interest in left or right, but how people are treated.


I am supposed to be working
And I end up doing this.
Ugh

Sorry
 

egg_

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Deadmanposting

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Wasn't Pinochet capitalist?
A murderous bastard
And one funded by western imperialists

I was trying to say that the decay at the heart of these communist regimes came from within
That it wasn't all the nefarious westerners interfering in their halcyon goodtime project

But there have been other govts that have used great cruelty to survive, certainly


I'm supposed to be packing for a trip!!
 

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