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Thread: Soviet Union: What type of socioeconomic system was it?

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    Default Re: Soviet Union: What type of socioeconomic system was it?

    Astarte, this is your typical tactic of parsing a reply into forty sub replies to muddy the discussion and detract from some basic facts. The Lenin Levy was conducted in a period of low class struggle. As others have noted, the working class had almost effectively been decimated ("declassed" was the term Lenin used to describe the effects of the civil war on workers) and was being rebuilt. The civil war against invading imperialist powers representing capital was over, but the war against the kulaks had yet to be joined. It was an ebb in class struggle throughout the early 1920s, relative to what came before and after it. This is simply a historical fact.

    I asked you to provide any account of the Lenin Levy that differed from what I have suggested it was, one written by a professional historian. You can't and you won't, because it's simply a historical fact.

    You savage Trotsky's Bolshevik bona fides. But you can't account for why Lenin would say that there was no better Bolshevik than Trotsky. It's simply a historical fact, so you ignore it and slither into other slanders and innuendos. It seems that even if you haven't learned what Leninism actually is (up until a year ago, you thought Lenin believed there would be classes under socialism!), you have definitely internalized the nastiest tactics of your anti-worker Stalinist heroes. Not something to be proud of though, and unfortunately - as you amply demonstrate - those tactics are perfectly compatible with liberal methodology, too.

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    Senior Voting Member hierophant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soviet Union: What type of socioeconomic system was it?

    Quote Originally Posted by James Cannonized View Post
    Astarte, this is your typical tactic of parsing a reply into forty sub replies to muddy the discussion and detract from some basic facts. The Lenin Levy was conducted in a period of low class struggle.
    I am not parsing out to muddy anything. I reply this way because it is easier to address specific points on a point-by-point basis, and sometimes thorough explanations are needed for individual points. You call this "muddying" I call it examining each of the points being raised in an argument from all angles and by this way, when we deconstruct the argument and take it for what it is on the merits of all of its points, we find whether or not it is legitimate. You and I have had some great discussions this way in the past in my opinion, and maybe I am wrong, but reading your posts, I feel like many of our positions are coming closer together, especially in regards to the nature of the social system of the USSR.

    Now, I just can't understand how the Lenin Enrollment took place at a point of "low class struggle", when socialist construction is always a point of high class struggle, especially in a world in which the state laying socialist foundations is encircled by imperialist powers. This was the time of the NEP in the USSR, it was not a time of "low class struggle", but actually a time when the capitalist countries of the world were regaining their balance from WWI, for many of them it meant going fascist. It was a time when after making gains in the late teens and early 20s globally the proletarian revolution was starting to withdraw due to capital being able to reassert itself. The whole period of the NEP, with the re-establishment of pockets of kulak power in the USSR was the domestic reflection to this phenomenon of global capitalism during this historical period. So, it was not a period of "low-class struggle". There was a reprieve in class struggle, but during this reprieve capital was re-establishing itself. To not have taken advantage of this reprieve (which was more like the "low-point" one experiences while being in the eye of a hurricane) and widened the Party (batten down the hatches) at this time on the basis of the actual workers and poor peasants and to re-establish the transmission belts between the Party and oppressed classes in this way would have meant not consciously deploying transmission belts between the party and oppressed classes, and allowing them to unconsciously form between the party and this class or that class during a time when capital was re-establishing itself globally.

    Quote Originally Posted by JC
    As others have noted, the working class had almost effectively been decimated ("declassed" was the term Lenin used to describe the effects of the civil war on workers) and was being rebuilt. The civil war against invading imperialist powers representing capital was over, but the war against the kulaks had yet to be joined. It was an ebb in class struggle throughout the early 1920s, relative to what came before and after it. This is simply a historical fact.
    I agree with this, though again, it was a reprieve as one finds when in the eye of a storm.

    Quote Originally Posted by JC
    I asked you to provide any account of the Lenin Levy that differed from what I have suggested it was, one written by a professional historian. You can't and you won't, because it's simply a historical fact.
    Sorry to disappoint you. I own the Stalin collected works and had a 3.74 gpa when I graduated with a baccalaureate of arts degree in European History from SUNY Stony Brook. I am not sure by what standards you judge a historian as "professional" or not, but I don't claim to be one as I don't get paid to do research by any institution. I could name a few writers that agree with my position, but you would probably think they were unprofessional historians too. So, I will have to just stand on my own humble credentials and hope that satisfies you in regards to this question.

    Quote Originally Posted by JC
    You savage Trotsky's Bolshevik bona fides. But you can't account for why Lenin would say that there was no better Bolshevik than Trotsky. It's simply a historical fact, so you ignore it and slither into other slanders and innuendos.
    Yes, and Stalin said something along the lines that without Trotsky as commander of the Red Army, the civil war would not have been won. Kind words do not outweigh the actual historical record. Unless you take kind words as being more weighted that Trotsky's actual historical affiliation with the Bolshevik Party.

    It seems that even if you haven't learned what Leninism actually is (up until a year ago, you thought Lenin believed there would be classes under socialism!),
    The phase of socialist construction as been called in shorthand alternatively "socialism" or "communism" by many different authors. In this phase of socialist construction classes still do exist. This is why I like talking to you, you are a good theoretician, I enjoyed rereading the State and Revolution with your critical guidance.

    Quote Originally Posted by JC
    you have definitely internalized the nastiest tactics of your anti-worker Stalinist heroes. Not something to be proud of though, and unfortunately - as you amply demonstrate - those tactics are perfectly compatible with liberal methodology, too.
    Anyway, I don't want to have a blood feud with and your comrades. I like you and I am glad you are an active poster here again.
    Last edited by hierophant; 05-11-2016 at 2:08 AM.

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    Default Re: Soviet Union: What type of socioeconomic system was it?

    Astarte, where are the professional historians who disagree with my take on the Lenin Levy? You keep talking about how you parse things to be thorough and so forth, yet you have dodged what was really the central thrust of my previous post. Your understanding of the Lenin levy is not one that would be taken seriously by historians. It's not a matter of "interpretation" filtered through politics -- it's simply a matter of getting the history right. This is just one, and only, of numerous examples of you making up fictions about the past or people's biographies or what people said in their writings in order to conform to the "party line" (in your case, that is an incoherent mess anyway, since all the Stalinist regimes you uphold as champions of socialism disagreed on so many points of program that it makes no sense to talk about a "line" of theirs but in the most general of senses -- e.g., hatred of Trotsky as a "left opportunist".

    Lenin saying that Trotsky was the best of Bolsheviks aren't just "kind words." It reflects that whatever conciliationism Trotsky had on the party question in the past, those were safely laid to rest by 1917, when Lenin -- who established Bolshevism as distinct from "social democracy" on precisely the party question -- noted what he did about Trotsky's politics.

    Who is or isn't a liberal isn't judged on the basis of "success" -- the Stalinist "socialists" were successful, weren't they? Yes, at completing capitalist tasks, but unfortunately not at completing socialist ones. The latter takes the working class fighting through a revolutionary party. The Stalinists, with you cheering them on after the fact, did everything to strangle revolutionary parties and revolutionary programs. Is revolution easy? Or is it going to be a lot more difficult to point to successes in the "real world" than opportunism used to buy up some temporary breathing room? I think it's obvious which answer a revolutionary would give.

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    Senior Voting Member hierophant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soviet Union: What type of socioeconomic system was it?

    Quote Originally Posted by James Cannonized View Post
    Astarte, where are the professional historians who disagree with my take on the Lenin Levy? You keep talking about how you parse things to be thorough and so forth, yet you have dodged what was really the central thrust of my previous post.
    I didn't dodge anything. You overlooked what I wrote in regards to your query: "I am not sure by what standards you judge a historian as "professional" or not, but I don't claim to be one as I don't get paid to do research by any institution. I could name a few writers that agree with my position, but you would probably think they were unprofessional historians too. So, I will have to just stand on my own humble credentials and hope that satisfies you in regards to this question." What is your criteria for a "professional historian"? How can I even answer your question when it is vague and loaded with bourgeois expectancy.

    Quote Originally Posted by JC
    Your understanding of the Lenin levy is not one that would be taken seriously by historians. It's not a matter of "interpretation" filtered through politics -- it's simply a matter of getting the history right. This is just one, and only, of numerous examples of you making up fictions about the past or people's biographies or what people said in their writings in order to conform to the "party line" (in your case, that is an incoherent mess anyway, since all the Stalinist regimes you uphold as champions of socialism disagreed on so many points of program that it makes no sense to talk about a "line" of theirs but in the most general of senses -- e.g., hatred of Trotsky as a "left opportunist".
    Like I said, I can name a few authors who agree with my position if you like, but I am afraid you may not find them very "professional" as they are not all on the dole of a bourgeois institution. A couple I can think of off the top of my head would be Albert E. Kahn and Michael Sayers who wrote a book in the 1940s called "The Great Conspiracy: The Secret War Against Soviet Russia", who, it seems, did not see the Lenin Enrollment as a cynical power grab but actually the enfranchisement of vast layers of the working classes.

    Quote Originally Posted by JC
    Lenin saying that Trotsky was the best of Bolsheviks aren't just "kind words." It reflects that whatever conciliationism Trotsky had on the party question in the past, those were safely laid to rest by 1917, when Lenin -- who established Bolshevism as distinct from "social democracy" on precisely the party question -- noted what he did about Trotsky's politics.
    This is a very weak "rebuttal". Of course the actual historical events outweigh what Lenin said on an occasion, especially when thereafter disputes continued to occur between Lenin and Trotsky on a few issues and confidence in the Bolshevik Party itself was all but scuttled when Trotsky began running illegal printing presses in the mid to late 1920s way before "Stalin had absolute power!" .

    Quote Originally Posted by JC
    Who is or isn't a liberal isn't judged on the basis of "success" -- the Stalinist "socialists" were successful, weren't they? Yes, at completing capitalist tasks, but unfortunately not at completing socialist ones. The latter takes the working class fighting through a revolutionary party. The Stalinists, with you cheering them on after the fact, did everything to strangle revolutionary parties and revolutionary programs. Is revolution easy? Or is it going to be a lot more difficult to point to successes in the "real world" than opportunism used to buy up some temporary breathing room? I think it's obvious which answer a revolutionary would give.
    But even today attempts at actually constructing socialism like the Bolivarian movement in Venezuela are rejected as "Stalinist" - the problem is you Trots dismiss every single real life attempt at building socialism that has ever made moderate and lasting successes as "degenerated", waiting for some pure proletarian revolution to occur in the core capitalist countries. Socialist construction is the planned construction of the economy with the aim of the end of classes and the state by way of creating a superproduction of all the wants and needs of life, so if a country is at a pre-capitalist or underdeveloped capitalist level when the social revolution occurs, I should hope the revolution fulfills "capitalist tasks", or rather levels of development customarily associated with the core imperialist countries. The problem is it has not been allowed to move past aspects of capitalism functioning within it because it has been strangled and assaulted by the economic and military power of the richest and most powerful imperialist powers to ever exist in history, which includes cultural seductions such as Coca Cola, Levi Strauss, McDonalds and Sonic the Hedgehog. I think you point the finger too much at "the Stalinists", when it is actual the capitalists and imperialists which caused this mess to begin with.

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    Default Re: Soviet Union: What type of socioeconomic system was it?

    Which University Press printed and refereed "The Great Conspiracy"?

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    Senior Voting Member hierophant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soviet Union: What type of socioeconomic system was it?

    Quote Originally Posted by James Cannonized View Post
    Which University Press printed and refereed "The Great Conspiracy"?
    So, to you a university has to print something for it to be "professional", OK. The Press was Boni & Gaer, but Kahn and Sayers were journalists. Sayers was at some of the Moscow trials actually. I am not sure of any anglophone university publishers printing pro-anti revisionist Marxist-Leninist material. I am sure somewhere in this great big world, likely in a non-anglophone country, there are at least a few texts and studies published by university journals or perhaps as their own book which see the Lenin Enrollment as an expansion of working class power. I am pretty sure the CPC still has this view ... and they control a lot of universities last time I checked.

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    Default Soviet Union: What type of socioeconomic system was it?

    It is all a great big anti-Communist conspiracy to silence the truth about the Lenin levy then, just as there has been for the past eighty years regarding the Moscow "Trials".

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    Default Re: Soviet Union: What type of socioeconomic system was it?

    Quote Originally Posted by James Cannonized View Post
    It is all a great big anti-Communist conspiracy to silence the truth about the Lenin levy then, just as there has been for the past eighty years regarding the Moscow "Trials".
    As I have been saying, mistakes and excesses were made - fucked up things happened - but these were the first attempts ever at trying to build socialism and they occurred under extremely unfavorable material circumstances in Russia and decimated material circumstances in China. I am not prepared to sell these first attempts down the river - I rather learn from them, analyze the class and material forces which resulted in the formation and collapse of these transitional states and not wholesale condemn them.

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    Default Re: Soviet Union: What type of socioeconomic system was it?

    Why do you keep talking about this ambiguous thing called "mistakes." I am talking about specific writings on specific historical events.

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    Default Re: Soviet Union: What type of socioeconomic system was it?

    In reply to apoiviitor, on the subject of Ticktin, he was an economist who thought that the economy of the USSR was neither capitalist nor socialist nor a transitional form combining elements of the two while being fully neither. I therefore reject his "theory" and don't see much overlap between Trotskyist views and his own view -- except for the superficial similarity that they would both contest the idea that the USSR was capitalist every bit as much as, say, the United States is.

    The biggest set of problems is that Ticktin doesn't really grapple with what a mode of production, what class, etc., actually are. T understands that production took place in the USSR. He understood that accumulation took place, that there was a division of labor, that people related to one another through definite property relations and laws, and so on. So if there is accumulation and an extensive division of labor that was regulated through a systematized and sustained complex of laws and norms -- what does it mean to say that there was no "mode of production"? For Marx that is precisely what a mode of production was: the manner in which humans combined with the implements of production in definite and systemized (and therefore scientifically discernible) ways to meet the needs of all the individuals concerned. In class societies, where surplus labor is extracted from the toilers by the property owners (sometimes, as under feudalism, mediated through tenure holders exercising inheritance rights), needs are not met through direct and democratic social planning but rather through sets of property relations that reflect the real struggle between all involved to survive in conditions of scarcity -- a struggle that necessarily bestows upon the participants "rules of reproduction" that differ depending on where one stands in the pecking order of property ownership. In a socialist society, of course, that property refraction doesn't occur, but it is a mode of production nevertheless because it involves combining producers and tools (including intellectual tools) to meet social needs in a systematic and sustained way that bestows definite rules of reproduction on all involved (and, again, is therefore capable of being analyzed scientifically).

    The Soviet Union had all these features, so it makes little sense to say it was not a "mode of production." My painting a picture by myself in a meadow one summer afternoon for my own personal enjoyment? That's a kind of production that doesn't rise to the level of a "mode" for the reasons stipulated, but that was never comparable to the production that took place in the USSR.

    Then there's the issue of class. According to Ticktin, the October Revolution was a workers' revolution, followed in the 1930s by a counterrevolution. Presumably, if it was a counterrevolution in the social sense (meaning that the state ceased being a workers' state--Ticktin's position), then one class seized power from the working class. What was the nature of this class? Well, if they weren't capitalists, then they were "bureaucrats" and you're right back to the completely bogus and undeveloped theory of "bureaucratic collectivism" positing the bureaucrats acting as a "class" but in completely ad hoc Nietzschean political ways outside the logic of capital accumulation. Otherwise, you have a state with no ruling class -- a fundamental departure from Marxism, Leninism, and certainly any variety of Trotskyism.

    Now he makes excellent observations empirically about the Soviet economy, observations of the kind that Bordiga seemed not to have any interest in making. The Soviet economy was inefficient and undergoing a crisis by the 1970s, and it always had a problem churning out quality consumer goods. But the Trotskyist explanation is far more persuasive as to why: the demands of expanded reproduction in Marx's "Department I" (production of the means of production) in the face of geo-political competition with bourgeois states, the inefficiency of planning resulting from conditions of scarcity in a backward society (resulting in the rise to power of a bureaucracy that politically expropriated the working class and disfranchised them from the planning process), the temporary nature of the contradiction between the form of collective planning and the asocial interests that dictated how that planning process was pursued, etc., etc. Ticktin certainly was not unique in predicting the imminent demise of the Stalinist cliques who sat atop the Soviet economy - whether they be supplanted by the bourgeoisie or by representatives of a resurgent working class. For Trotsky, the rules of reproduction presented by the hybrid of two distinct modes of production placed the Stalinist caste in a highly unstable position, giving them rules of reproduction that were difficult to sustain over a prolonged period of time (and giving the workers their own rules of reproduction -- an interest, as a class, in fighting the Stalinists in the name of international socialism).

    Does this help address your question?

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    Default Re: Soviet Union: What type of socioeconomic system was it?

    Yes that makes sense. I should probably read Ticktin though since your summary of his beliefs and that article's summary of his beliefs are entirely different.
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    Senior Voting Member KC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soviet Union: What type of socioeconomic system was it?

    Quote Originally Posted by James Cannonized View Post
    Why do you keep talking about this ambiguous thing called "mistakes." I am talking about specific writings on specific historical events.
    Ah yes, Astarte's "mistakes and excesses". When he says "mistakes and excesses" he is referring to cases in which he thinks the state did something "wrong". In other "cases" of course he agrees with what the state did, and therefore supports it. Astarte never mentions what is considered a "mistake" or an "excess" but merely emphasizes the need for analyzing on a "case by case basis". Here's my last attempt to figure out what the hell he is actually trying to say:

    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Well we can always say that there's an argument for every action, right? Obviously the state is going to have some kind of argument to justify its policy. The question isn't whether there's an argument, but whether the argument actually makes sense. You're right in that many forced transfers were argued to be justified on the basis of repressing revolting elements. The problem is that it doesn't really hold up. The treatment of entire populations in occupied zones was based on their suspiciousness and not on any overt opposition. There were certainly elements in any mass population that would work to oppose the Soviet state and perhaps work with the Nazis and other such groups, but there were also people that worked in the resistance to fight the Nazi occupiers in secret. Most citizens simply wanted to just live their lives.

    Take for example the Volga Germans, who were deported en masse because Beria claimed they were Nazi supporters. Stalin made the order. Now, what "layer of the population" are Ukrainian residents with German heritage? Is this "layer" not based on ethnic grounds? Is an entire ethnic population not being forcibly transferred based not on their alleged Nazi collaboration but rather their ethnicity? Do you think it's an acceptable "case" that because there are some members of an ethnicity that are collaborators that everyone identified as that ethnicity is affected? Is the "layer" to which you refer not their ethnicity? Is this not collective ethnic punishment for alleged crimes of collaboration by certain individuals? Or perhaps these were just "mistakes and excesses"?

    What of so-called "preventive deportations" i.e. deportations predicated on preventing perceived future conflict? Were deportations actually based on collaboration, how can these be justified? If these deportations were based on crimes, why is it that Beria and Stalin solicited the support of leaders of these groups - effectively bribing them - to ensure the smoothness of these operations? If these ethnic groups were collaborationists (and not merely being collectively punished - a wild thought to entertain indeed) why is it that the state actually bribed these leaders instead of imprisoning them? A state that was so swift to enact disproportionate punishment for the most mundane crime, soliciting the support of collaborationist leaders? How does that make sense?

    If we go further, we could list off the mass deportations that were enacted in the Stalin period and go through them and you could point out which ones were justified and which were "excesses". But the better question would be - forensically, how could you possibly make such a case that collective guilt is warranted? In individual cases there was hardly justice (a concept I'm sure you'll argue is bourgeois), being based on the spying of state security, accusations - commonly unsubstantiated - made by others, and torture. How then could there be enough proof to warrant collective guilt and punishment? Indeed, these cases weren't decided by investigators or those making a case on the basis of evidence but rather on the whim of Beria based on his general knowledge afforded by his position and Stalin's following decision. So even if there were cases of conspiracy by entire ethnicities and populations to oppose the state, there certainly isn't evidence to prove it. Not in popular works or the archives.

    As for your revulsion to the notion that I accused you of supporting ethnic cleansing, I didn't. I certainly didn't. I asked you to confirm it, because it was pretty much what it sounded like you were saying and I was unsure. We can rest safe, though, in the fact that you oppose ethnic cleansing on moral grounds. Though it sounds like you find the idea of deporting entire "layers of the population" (Volga German, Crimean, Romanian, and other such "layers"), thereby "cleansing" said geographies of such "layers", as a policy that is acceptable in certain "cases". Am I getting closer to what you're trying to say?
    "I do not claim that every incident in the history of empire can be explained in directly economic terms. Economic interests are filtered through a political process, policies are implemented by a complex state apparatus, and the whole system generates its own momentum."

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    Senior Voting Member hierophant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soviet Union: What type of socioeconomic system was it?

    When I talk about mistakes and excesses these are some of the things I am referring to.

    Quote Originally Posted by KC
    Well we can always say that there's an argument for every action, right? Obviously the state is going to have some kind of argument to justify its policy. The question isn't whether there's an argument, but whether the argument actually makes sense. You're right in that many forced transfers were argued to be justified on the basis of repressing revolting elements. The problem is that it doesn't really hold up. The treatment of entire populations in occupied zones was based on their suspiciousness and not on any overt opposition. There were certainly elements in any mass population that would work to oppose the Soviet state and perhaps work with the Nazis and other such groups, but there were also people that worked in the resistance to fight the Nazi occupiers in secret. Most citizens simply wanted to just live their lives.

    Take for example the Volga Germans, who were deported en masse because Beria claimed they were Nazi supporters. Stalin made the order. Now, what "layer of the population" are Ukrainian residents with German heritage? Is this "layer" not based on ethnic grounds? Is an entire ethnic population not being forcibly transferred based not on their alleged Nazi collaboration but rather their ethnicity? Do you think it's an acceptable "case" that because there are some members of an ethnicity that are collaborators that everyone identified as that ethnicity is affected? Is the "layer" to which you refer not their ethnicity? Is this not collective ethnic punishment for alleged crimes of collaboration by certain individuals? Or perhaps these were just "mistakes and excesses"?

    What of so-called "preventive deportations" i.e. deportations predicated on preventing perceived future conflict? Were deportations actually based on collaboration, how can these be justified? If these deportations were based on crimes, why is it that Beria and Stalin solicited the support of leaders of these groups - effectively bribing them - to ensure the smoothness of these operations? If these ethnic groups were collaborationists (and not merely being collectively punished - a wild thought to entertain indeed) why is it that the state actually bribed these leaders instead of imprisoning them? A state that was so swift to enact disproportionate punishment for the most mundane crime, soliciting the support of collaborationist leaders? How does that make sense?

    If we go further, we could list off the mass deportations that were enacted in the Stalin period and go through them and you could point out which ones were justified and which were "excesses". But the better question would be - forensically, how could you possibly make such a case that collective guilt is warranted? In individual cases there was hardly justice (a concept I'm sure you'll argue is bourgeois), being based on the spying of state security, accusations - commonly unsubstantiated - made by others, and torture. How then could there be enough proof to warrant collective guilt and punishment? Indeed, these cases weren't decided by investigators or those making a case on the basis of evidence but rather on the whim of Beria based on his general knowledge afforded by his position and Stalin's following decision. So even if there were cases of conspiracy by entire ethnicities and populations to oppose the state, there certainly isn't evidence to prove it. Not in popular works or the archives.

    As for your revulsion to the notion that I accused you of supporting ethnic cleansing, I didn't. I certainly didn't. I asked you to confirm it, because it was pretty much what it sounded like you were saying and I was unsure. We can rest safe, though, in the fact that you oppose ethnic cleansing on moral grounds. Though it sounds like you find the idea of deporting entire "layers of the population" (Volga German, Crimean, Romanian, and other such "layers"), thereby "cleansing" said geographies of such "layers", as a policy that is acceptable in certain "cases". Am I getting closer to what you're trying to say?
    These would be some of the mistakes or excess that were made by the Soviet State. I support none of them. You should compile a full list of them to accompany the next edition of "The Black Book of Communism", though KC (though they are probably already in there). I will readily admit that what Communists did in this case and others like it were not good and a negatively effected many people - but the question is, because of errors in coercion like these - the whole point of the project that was the Soviet Union, the Third International, the Eastern States and the PRC being actually - believe it or not - not to coerce people based on race or ethnicity but to to preserve collective property and a centrally planned economy that could supersede capitalism as a global mode - a wild thought to entertain indeed - do you throw the entire project out, condemn it for all time and send it to Hell? Do you completely disavow all support for it and the Marxist-Leninist states, even critical support for them for which says the USSR and PRC were over all 7/10 "good" for progressive humanity and the actual raising of living standards and live expectancy and also acted as the material and ideological bulwark for the revolutionary struggles of countless oppressed peoples around the world? I don't.

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    Senior Voting Member KC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soviet Union: What type of socioeconomic system was it?

    These would be some of the mistakes or excess that were made by the Soviet State. I support none of them.


    Would they be? Then why are you denying they took place:

    Quote Originally Posted by Astarte View Post
    Still not buying it, chief. Do you deny they were rising up during Nazi invasion? When a right wing ultra-nationalist group is rising up during invasion by the Nazis, direct collaboration or not, it is a time of extreme crisis. I don't know who J. Otto Pohl is or what interests he is beholden to, but I find it hard to believe a Politburo, central committee and government made up of the diverse national and ethnic groups were engaging in "ethnic cleansing" as this implies specific nationalities were relocated not because they were dominated by right wing nationalist ideology and actively uprising against the state but because the Soviet state had some kind of official policy of discrimination and oppression towards minorities when the reality it clearly did not. Meanwhile, I would be curious as to what ideologies, lines of thought or states (if any) you support or even at least critically support as to demonstrate what interests you are beholden to or are unconsciously beholden to at least?

    http://www.revforum.com/showthread.p...ll=1#post33561
    And apologizing:

    As far as trying to play pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey with your accusation of me finding "ethnic cleansing" acceptable (which is not what occurred under Stalin, but rather a layer of the population that was openly revolting against the central government was suppressed)


    I will readily admit that what Communists did in this case and others like it were not good and a negatively effected many people - but the question is, because of errors in coercion like these


    Here's the problem you have. For all the claims of "rigorous analysis" you have simply no explanation for these actions aside from the fact that they were "excesses" or "mistakes" which are meaningless from an analytical standpoint. The truth is that, this is how the USSR under Stalin maintained its rule, and that these actions were not only characteristic of but also the direct expression of the state's rule. This flowed down from how Stalin ruled the Politburo directly. It was a fundamental characteristic of the state. In that regard, it cannot be seen as a "mistake" or anomaly of an otherwise socialist state but rather the entire foundation of rule of the state that can't simply be excused away as an "excess" of "building socialism". There was no socialist state and these actions are proof of that.

    "I do not claim that every incident in the history of empire can be explained in directly economic terms. Economic interests are filtered through a political process, policies are implemented by a complex state apparatus, and the whole system generates its own momentum."

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    Senior Voting Member hierophant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soviet Union: What type of socioeconomic system was it?

    KC. You are a social democratic liberal at best and at worst a stooge of international imperialism who is already known to support the MUD over the PSUV - please explain the crimes of liberalism - your ideology has the deaths of 100 million on its hands from between 1914 to 1945 alone as the 2nd international parties voted for or supported their national regimes in WWI, of which the events also lead to World War II. I suppose you support nationalism and the subsequent extermination of millions of Jewish people, homosexuals, Communists, and all around "undesirables"?

    As I said, they were policy mistakes based on deeply entrenched capitalist or pre-capitalist conditions or the result of such being deeply embedded in Soviet society of which the contradictions were unfortunately not handled with a fine tooth comb but rather a mallet in a crisis period for dealing with regional and local insurgencies which would have re-established capitalism on a fascist basis. The entire point of the USSR and the international socialist projects around it being to build a planned economy on the basis of collective property; to create Marxist socialism. You seem to have a hard time believing this and rather think the main drive of the project was something like racial or ethnic cleansing or think that as a mode this internationalist movement required ethnic or racial suppression to exist as does capitalism, which is actually the mode you support, being a social democrat. You support a reformist mode which periodically needs to kill off 10s of millions of people to maintain capitalist growth. For you this is not a mistake - the fact that capitalist exploitation of the economic and political kind - or the extension of those things to the end of their class antagonisms and contradictions always of which result in war which firstly, as a rule, puts the periphery layers of the population at peril first, namely those on the outskirts of capitalist accumulation, those with the least amount of capital accumulated are always killed first. For you this is not even recognized or acknowledged as existing let alone existing as a mistake of the mode you defend but rather is normal for it and business as usual. For shame. Your whole line of argument is a sham and the equivalent of historical victim blaming as the capitalist and imperialist modes of production wrought the underdeveloped conditions which made the construction of socialism in the USSR so hazardous in the first place.

  16. #56
    Senior Voting Member KC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soviet Union: What type of socioeconomic system was it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Astarte View Post
    KC. You are a social democratic liberal at best and at worst a stooge of international imperialism who is already known to support the MUD over the PSUV - please explain the crimes of liberalism - your ideology has the deaths of 100 million on its hands from between 1914 to 1945 alone as the 2nd international parties voted for or supported their national regimes in WWI, of which the events also lead to World War II. I suppose you support nationalism and the subsequent extermination of millions of Jewish people, homosexuals, Communists, and all around "undesirables"?

    As I said, they were policy mistakes based on deeply entrenched capitalist or pre-capitalist conditions or the result of such being deeply embedded in Soviet society of which the contradictions were unfortunately not handled with a fine tooth comb but rather a mallet in a crisis period for dealing with regional and local insurgencies which would have re-established capitalism on a fascist basis. The entire point of the USSR and the international socialist projects around it being to build a planned economy on the basis of collective property; to create Marxist socialism. You seem to have a hard time believing this and rather think the main drive of the project was something like racial or ethnic cleansing or think that as a mode this internationalist movement required ethnic or racial suppression to exist as does capitalism, which is actually the mode you support, being a social democrat. You support a reformist mode which periodically needs to kill off 10s of millions of people to maintain capitalist growth. For you this is not a mistake - the fact that capitalist exploitation of the economic and political kind - or the extension of those things to the end of their class antagonisms and contradictions always of which result in war which firstly, as a rule, puts the periphery layers of the population at peril first, namely those on the outskirts of capitalist accumulation, those with the least amount of capital accumulated are always killed first. For you this is not even recognized or acknowledged as existing let alone existing as a mistake of the mode you defend but rather is normal for it and business as usual. For shame. Your whole line of argument is a sham and the equivalent of historical victim blaming as the capitalist and imperialist modes of production wrought the underdeveloped conditions which made the construction of socialism in the USSR so hazardous in the first place.
    How does one determine which case is fundamental to the system and which is a "mistake/excess"? How does it not follow that we could take the same reasoning and claim - as capitalists do - that such actions under capitalism are mere "mistakes of policy"?
    "I do not claim that every incident in the history of empire can be explained in directly economic terms. Economic interests are filtered through a political process, policies are implemented by a complex state apparatus, and the whole system generates its own momentum."

  17. #57
    Senior Voting Member hierophant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soviet Union: What type of socioeconomic system was it?

    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    How does one determine which case is fundamental to the system and which is a "mistake/excess"? How does it not follow that we could take the same reasoning and claim - as capitalists do - that such actions under capitalism are mere "mistakes of policy"?
    By looking at the relations of the classes to the material forces of production. Capitalism systematically attacks minorities and non-whites because they are off the core of capital accumulation and own the least capitalist property. Exploitation and extraction of labor by capital as a mode leans on these off-core populations the most, and even more so during the epoch of imperialism when the search for markets expands outwards and outwards to places not touched or least touched by capital.

    If you look at the historical reality of the international Marxist-Leninist project to build socialism, the mode has been to plan economic growth on the basis of a collective property situation. This, according to the material conditions of the workers and oppressed classes throughout the world, relies on anti-capitalist policy which is also fundamentally anti-nationalist and anti-racialist and anti-imperialist as these are superstructural devices which grew up right along side capitalism itself and are tied to the forces of capital by 1000 strings. When national or ethnic groups have been coerced by the Marxist-Leninist states it has been a mistake of policy which actually is counter to the project of collective property as it has no systemic function in maintaining collective property or the plan, and is based on centuries old vestiges of capitalism and pre-capitalism and if policies such as these, which I refer to as mistakes, are pursued they inevitably lead back to capitalism because such actions ultimately in one way or another damage both the material and ideological integrity of the plan and collective property.
    Last edited by hierophant; 05-14-2016 at 7:24 AM.

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    Default Re: Soviet Union: What type of socioeconomic system was it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Astarte View Post
    I am glad you are an active poster here again.
    I think, effective today, this is no longer going to be the case.

  19. #59
    Senior Voting Member hierophant's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soviet Union: What type of socioeconomic system was it?

    Very cryptic?

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    Default Re: Soviet Union: What type of socioeconomic system was it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Astarte View Post
    Very cryptic?
    Was it? I don't think I'm going to post here anymore.

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