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24hourforums.com • View topic - The pros and cons of life in the Soviet Union

The pros and cons of life in the Soviet Union

Peering through the mist of time.

Re: The pros and cons of life in the Soviet Union

Postby sledge » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:30 am

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Re: The pros and cons of life in the Soviet Union

Postby spot » Sun Aug 01, 2010 5:43 pm

Actually I suspect Stalin did the best possible job that could have been done in the circumstances. I agree a very large number of people died in the process but the Soviet Union was industrialized in time for Zhukov to turn the tide at Stalingrad, for Leningrad to hold out, for the Eastern Push to destroy German hopes of expansion at the expense of the Slavs. A bunch of pansy do-gooder lefties in charge wouldn't have stiffened the nation the way Stalin did in those fifteen years he had in charge. As for the final decade after the war, he was an old man surrounded by wolves - of course he was paranoid. Anyone would have been, and with good reason.

The bureaucratic communism which followed his death went in a great deal for liberalization and the pursuit of ideals. Like reaching earth orbit and subsequently establishing a space station, for example, with robotic missions around the inner solar system. All that from the mayhem and bankruptcy of the twenties? It was an astounding achievement.

I'd say that at any time during the entire Soviet period there were more people involved in grass-roots political debate, with practical power over their locality, than any form of Western democracy has empowered in modern times.
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Re: The pros and cons of life in the Soviet Union

Postby Brian » Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:52 pm

"I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower
Makes you talk a little lower
About the things you could not show her."

-- Counting Crows, "A Long December"
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Re: The pros and cons of life in the Soviet Union

Postby spot » Mon Aug 02, 2010 9:45 pm

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Re: The pros and cons of life in the Soviet Union

Postby Brian » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:02 pm

"I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower
Makes you talk a little lower
About the things you could not show her."

-- Counting Crows, "A Long December"
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Re: The pros and cons of life in the Soviet Union

Postby spot » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:28 am

My wikipedia sentence indicates that party membership was at that stage 10% of the adult population compared to my guess of one in twenty adults, or 5%, which would have been true in, say, the sixties and early seventies. Before the war it had reached around 4%. I don't think it ever got as high as 20% but perhaps you misread my ratio.

I think we need a thread on freedom as interpreted in the West. In what sense is a two-party system more accountable than a one-party system, for example, when both have policies which are to a large extent identical? How easy is it for national representatives to participate in a two-party state unless they have endorsement from one of the two parties? Perhaps we could take that ball and roll it in parallel with this one, the use of the word "freedom" on this site has had me baffled ever since I arrived and it does keep cropping up frequently.

"Communist Party membership was still a privilege, not open to all who sought it" isn't what I see when I look at the system in the Soviet Union. I do see entry to the Party as a matter of orthodoxy and participation, with a greater assumption of trust being given to people whose parents were party workers in good standing before them. I take it to have been on a par with qualifying to get into university, it took years of preparation, not everyone could achieve it and (in the case of Party membership) one was a lot more likely to be blackballed. Most members were hard-working intelligent citizens.
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Re: The pros and cons of life in the Soviet Union

Postby Brian » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:17 am

"I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower
Makes you talk a little lower
About the things you could not show her."

-- Counting Crows, "A Long December"
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Re: The pros and cons of life in the Soviet Union

Postby sledge » Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:46 pm

what is member's geenral feeling about Communism? good or bad as we'll already posted above Stalin Communism.
Recently i watched a documentary about North Korea and the regime controlling the country and brainwashing the people that's what I call extreme communism. Influenced by Soviet Russia.

This is the video i watched filmed by Dutch filmakers from youtube, runs for about 53 mins
Welcome to North Korea by Peter Tetteroo and Raymond Feddema / Documentary Educational Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ6E3cShcVU
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Re: The pros and cons of life in the Soviet Union

Postby spot » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:59 am

North Korea's an odd place, certainly. I've never been there and I've never spoken to a North Korean. The extent to which what's said about it is true or not isn't a matter I'd like to guess at. Korea used to be a country, it had a civil war some years after the Japanese occupation ended in 1945. The Russians may have had a precipitating hand in the civil war breaking out, again it's not easy to know whether it would have happened without Soviet support. Western military intervention in that civil war resulted in the current stalemate. Without that intervention, Korea as a whole would have become a communist country and developed from there. Given the stasis of the ceasefire North Korea's become politically frozen in time. There are a lot of what-ifs but you can be certain that a united communist Korea of the fifties wouldn't have developed into what North Korea is now.

International isolation puts any ruling system's back against the wall. It's happened too in Burma, it's what shores up the nationalist government in Iran, it prevents political development in all three countries. The common factor in all three is sanctions and subversion by foreign governments, I don't think communism as such is a factor in the state North Korea finds itself today. Picking extremes like this as a way of discussing the pros and cons of life in the Soviet Union, or equating communism in the Soviet Union with one side of a country (Korea) locked into an ongoing civil war for sixty years, doesn't take us very far.
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Re: The pros and cons of life in the Soviet Union

Postby Brian » Wed Aug 04, 2010 7:27 am

"I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower
Makes you talk a little lower
About the things you could not show her."

-- Counting Crows, "A Long December"
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