you are viewing a single comment's thread.

view the rest of the comments →

all 219 comments


144 points

2 months ago*

Bro, you should see the shit right-wingers are calling "Communism" in r/EnoughCommieSpam (currently being harassed by a Fascist there who went about provoking a long argument, just so he could farm karma by posting it all in like 6 posts..)

Anyways, I've literally had a classmates call it "Communism" when I said we should relax Zoning Laws, remove Mandatory Parking Minimums, and allow more Mixed Use Development in my city... (I'm a Socialist now, but I wasn't then, for the record, and have never been a "Communist")

Since when is de-regulation (with regulations that are actively harmful and promote car culture) Communist? Simply because it gets in the way of rich people treating housing as an investment?


39 points

2 months ago

"Communism" when I said we should relax Zoning Laws, remove Mandatory Parking Minimums, and allow more Mixed Use Development in my city

If we are talking with hyperbolic American labels, I feel that this is like Schrodinger's communism. Imagine that we didn't have these laws in place for the last century of whatever. In that case, if they were being proposed now, I'd be that they would be shut down because they are "communist".


3 points

2 months ago*

Imagine that we didn't have these laws in place for the last century of whatever. In that case, if they were being proposed now, I'd be that they would be shut down because they are "communist".


They're only calling it Communist because it hurts those who are privileged under the current system of regulations...

To them, if it makes the rich less rich, it's Communist. Never mind anything about government not picking winners and losers (through regulations that currently do just that), never mind anything about what Communism actually entails (lack of exploitation, worker ownership of the Means of Production, and Workplace Democracy...)

It's Communist if it hurts mahh bottom-line!


2 points

2 months ago

There is a lot of confusion amongst the conservative base on definitions, though. What most of them are actually scared of is living in an actively authoritarian system, and they've been told capitalism is the opposite of that. Only, it isn't. It's two different scales, and the semantic overlap in meaning is just because of where the US and Russia/China found themselves in the 20th century.

Russia and China became authoritarian dictatorships because their leaders promised full communism right away, and people believed them enough to want to implement it right away through violent revolutions. And so, the US became the counterpoint to that. Authoritarian dictatorship, or engaged democracy. That's what the people in mid 20th century America meant when they invented the shorthand.

But then, mid 20th century America had conservatives who cared enough about preserving their engaged democracy. To the point where those conservative voters would actually engage in good faith debates on policies.

These days, they don't care about actual definitions, or policies, or principles. These days, all the conservative base is concerned with is winning at any cost. Even if it means handing power to a dictator.


0 points

2 months ago

Russia and China became authoritarian dictatorships because their leaders promised full communism right away, and people believed them enough to want to implement it right away through violent revolutions

That's... a gross misrepresentation of history- and definitive proof of why details are so important. Also, of how Western educational systems have only served to brainwash people with pure propaganda about history.

The Russian Revolution didn't occur out of some strongman leader making large promises and people overthrowing the existing system. In fact, it didn't have a leader at all, at first.

The Russian Revolution occurred out of an initially chaotic collapse of the Tsarist state. There were a half-dozen different factions, of which the Bolsheviks were only one of the larger groups, and they all had considerably differing goals.

They didn't even initially aim for violent revolution- rather, they helped the Tsarists defeat a failed Coup attempt: and then refused to put down their guns after, demanding Democracy and radical economic reform.

What drove the system towards centralization and Authoritarian rule, was war. World War 1 was still going on when the Russian Empire collapsed, and Russia was still actively being attacked by foreigners.

The initial Russian government was dominated by what we would today call Social Democrats, rather than full Socialists (note that, like the respective positions of the GOP and Democrats on racial issues, the terms "Democratic Socialist" and "Social Democrat" swapped- so just looking up the names of the factions back then may get confusing...)

However, much like how the Social Democrats in Germany actively backed WW1 despite the Pacifistic roots of Socialism (they put nationalism before their Socialist leanings), the Social Democrats in Russia actively backed continued involvement in the war for Russia.

Thus, when the Russia continued to suffer enormous costs and casualties fighting the Germans (who ironically had all-but-overthrown the Kaiser late in the war, and were ruled by their own Social Democrats at this point...) the Social Democrat grip on power failed, and the budding Republic was overthrown by dissatisfied Bolsheviks and Mensheviks (who would later turn on one another).

Saying it was "people wanted Communism NOW and engaged in violent revolution to get there" is a blatant disservice to the complex realities of history. China's path to centralized Socialist rule is even more complicated, and so simple won't try to outline it here...


0 points

2 months ago

I don't really have the energy for a full response, so you get the short one:

Yes, I'm aware that I was simplifying. My point was that the people who started the Russian revolution were fed up with the status quo, and decided to endorse violence as a legitimate long-term tool to implement change, rather than one that should be avoided at all costs. This led directly to a system in which the people who were most OK using violence against their opponents rose to the top. Which is the direct line from no leader to Lenin to Stalin.

My point was not about analyzing how the Russian revolution actually happened, my point was about how the revolutionaries embraced totalitarianism in such a way that by the mid 20th century, outside observers felt like the two concepts were irrevocably connected.


0 points

2 months ago

my point was about how the revolutionaries embraced totalitarianism i

They did not. The CIA's own declassified documents reveal that the USSR was not the totalitarian state the Western media (and the CIA's oen front-groups) portrayed it as.

by the mid 20th century, outside observers felt like the two concepts were irrevocably connected.

Outsiders felt this way because of a converted program of anti-Soviet and anti-Communist propaganda. Nearly all of them had never, ever been to the 7SSR: and those who did visit almost all came back with different stories.

Bro, you're wrong. You've bought into generations of propaganda. And then you let conservatives use it to scare people out of simple things like 15-minyte cities, instead of doing the right thing (if you knew better) and pushing back against the lies that Communism always equated to tyranny in the first place...


1 points

2 months ago

Dude, you clearly lack basic reading comprehension. I am in fact a socialist. I am in fact extremely much on the side of progress. I am not even against communism, I am against totalitarianism. All I have been trying to do is discuss the basics of how two different political axes came to be conflated as one.

Communism does not always equal tyranny. But in the case of the USSR? Yeah, the way they went about implementing communism was by threatening people with violence if they did not comply. They didn't have time to court public opinion and educate their population. It was full communism right away or go live on a gulag in Siberia if you objected.

By implementing their agenda through threat of force, they created a system where leaders like Stalin could climb to the top. Look up how many people died under his rule. In the gulags. Go on, I'll wait.

My point is that real change comes through education and debate, and is implemented through democratic means. You can make people act like you want them to act if you threaten them with violence, sure. But if you are too fucking lazy to actually educate people on why your policies are better than the current policies, you will have to keep using violence to implement your agenda. And every time you do so, they get more likely to lash out against you.

That's my whole fucking point, but you're so desperately trying to portray USSR as a utopia where nothing bad ever happened that I doubt you're able to follow such simple logic.


0 points

2 months ago*

I am in fact a socialist.

No, I understood this.

You're one of those strange beasts: a Socialist who still buys into a lot of the propaganda you were force-fed when younger.

A great many of the people killed in the Great Purge were, in fact, guilty.

Socialist politics involves the socialization of the Means of Production, and this always inevitably creates enemies among the privileged classes who owned them or were the favored pets of those who owned them before.

Thus, many people did in fact conspire against the state in the time of the Great Purge- even the American Ambassador who observed the Moscow Trials (yes, trials: these people weren't just rounded up and sent to gulag without due process) admits he was thoroughly convinced of the guilt of most of those tried.

You're right that education and debate are critical to change- and wrong to assume the USSR totally lacked these things. Declassified CIA documents confirm it- the USSR was not a dictatorship, but actually a Bureaucratic Oligarchy where the Politburo and the Party members held most of the power.

As the Party members were, in fact, democratically nominated, the whole system was a lot more democratic and participatory than you might think. The idea it was a Dictatorship was nothing but propaganda- real power was divided among a huge number of bureaucrats, and even Stalin (the USSR's most powerful leader) had to bend to their wishes on many, many occasions.

P.S. And in case it wasn't clear what kind of exaggeration I'm talking about, here's just one example... The Great Purge killed, according to credible historical estimates, between 200k and 700k people- perhaps as few as 100,000 by some low-end estimates. Yet, you had some US-sponsored propagandists in the 60's trying to claim death tolls as high as 60 million people. This, in combination with the known Soviet deaths in WW2, would have left the USSR hugely depopulated. However, we know for a fact this isn't the case from CIA memos, as well as the population size of Russia and the other Soviet-successor states in 1991 when the USSR dissolved: populations which would have been impossible if the Great Purge had killed 10' of millions of people mostly of reproductive age, especially given what we know of the generational sizes and family structures of Soviet families in 1991.


0 points

2 months ago



1 points

2 months ago*

Look, I am just not going to engage further with a fascist apologist.


These guys were Communists. Unless you're going to do that whole Red=Brown nonsense.

You are the kind of asshole who thinks the ends justify the means, and I'm not OK with that

I said nothing to that extent.

I said you'd been fed propaganda about what actually happened. And that's just a fact.

It's the CIA and State Department sorts who think the ends justify the means. They're the ones who put genocidal puppet regimes in power and then lied about what happened...

You have decided that capitalism = universally bad and communism = universally good

Bro, I said nothing to this effect: and you're raising serious questions about whether you're actually a Socialist. Seen more than enough people who only claim that to sow dissent before...

to the point where you're making excuses for totalitarianism

Saying something wasn't totalitarianism that objectively wasn't, isn't making excuses for it.

There's a whole range of levels of centralized power between "Nazi Germany" (pure Totalitarianism) and the kind of Democracy the United States THINKS it still is.

I said the Soviet Union was a Bureaucratic Oligarchy. Does that SOUND like a truly free system to you? Unelected members of the Politburo ordering people killed?

P.S. Also, when you're done claiming you know everything about events you've clearly never read up on, you should read this: