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Communism

Discussion in 'Post War 1945-1955' started by Admiral_Humaid, Dec 9, 2014.

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  1. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Two interesting points I'd like to raise:

    1) Up to 1941 European communists were in a difficult position because the Soviet Union was allied to Hitler. pearl Harbor changed this and communist Resistants (Spanish and French in France) , Greeks, Poles etc.... became much more active when they no longer had political issues.

    2) The Rotfront Partei in Germany was Hitler's enemy : their members are were massively deported and sent to DACHAU years before the war started. They are forgotten Resistants. Accusing the Communinsts of bunring the Reichstag comforted Hitler's might. The fear of the 1918 Revolution and Rosa Luxemburg brought many votes to the Nazis.
     
  2. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Indeed, Hitler adopted many of the German Communist's outreach and organizational tactics and I believe there is a prewar Hiter quote giving them their due.

    Communism in itself is not evil as such, just near impossible to administer fairly to a population. Had a High school history teacher that often said 'pure' communism is theoretically ideal governing system....but pure communism was a near impossibility.
     
  3. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    This is why the soviet Union called itself "Socialist" because it never achieved its utopy.
     
  4. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    There is no "utopia" possible when all power is in the hands of one party or one individual. What you have is an autocracy, a dictatorship. No other result is possible.
     
  5. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    And yet it is a common human desire to instill ultimate power into a 'Man on a White Horse'.
     
  6. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Sadly, true. It is only when you are under the hooves of that horse that your realize your mistake.
     
  7. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    A definition of communism: "Give me your watch and I will tell you what time it is comrade". :rofl:
     
  8. Karjala

    Karjala Don Quijote

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    Exactly! :)
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    That becomes a matter of semantics does it not? Communist governements invariably ended up as dictatorships and ones where communism was the state religion which made them even harder to overthrow than the non religious form. The ideal may have been ideal to some but IMO a system of governement that requires the vast majority of people if not all of them to be perfect is a fundamentally flawed system as people aren't and never will be perfect.
     
  10. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    Probably one of the most accurate descriptions of communism. Lol. :)
     
  11. green slime

    green slime Member

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    KB has some interesting, (and correct) points.
    What Kodiak Bear doesn't say are a couple of other important points / considerations for why collectivisation was pursued so strenuously and rigourously in the 20's and 30's.

    The Russian state the Bolshevik's inherited was in a terrible condition. It really was a backward country. It had little industry, and an enormous rural population. The majority of the rural population were former serfs, with almost nothing to their name. As in most rural communities in 1800's and early 1900s, the inefficiency of the hidden unemployed was incredibly high (farming was only sporadically labour intensive). Small farms added to this problem. Although Russia had substantial areas of farmland, the amount of surplus goods sold in commerce was never very high, most of the produce being eaten by the small farmer and his family.

    The industrial revolution, and the changes it brought (urbanisation) to western Europe (France, England, Germany) had not gone unnoticed in Russia. Indeed, Karl Marx, author of the Communist Manifesto, lived in England.

    Furthermore, having borne witness to the destruction that was the Great War, and the Allied intervention 1917-1920, it was seen that enormous changes had to be made, and very, very quickly, if Russia were to survive.

    Thus it was seen as of the utmost necessity to industrialize. Now, there were a few options that were discussed and considered, but it was felt at the time, that trying to create a consumer-based industries (so-called light industry; goods produced for the benefit of the citizens) would take too long, as the majority of Russians in 1919 were very, very poor.

    Therefore, after much debate, it was decided to focus on building heavy industry, and the expectation was that consumer goods could follow, once the industrial base was in place. Now, once that had been decided, it was also determined, that in order to build and work factories, mines, and other implements of heavy industry, you need a larger urban population; They needed to "encourage" people to leave their minimal farms to work in the new industries. They needed economies of scale on the farms, in order to generate enough food, to feed the growing urban populations.

    So collectivisation was a prerequisite in order to create the industries it was felt was needed, in order to have a chance at defending the Soviet Union against Western Europe.

    All this was never the brainchild of Stalin, but the work of cadres of communist thinkers and economists, in a desperate race to catch up to western Europe's level of industrialisation. It was brutal.

    Lastly, as an aside, in the late 20's, during this transition, they also implemented a "New Economical Program" or NEP, which also allowed small scale capitalism.
     
  12. denny

    denny Member

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    ....and the usa, sadly, supported Franco in Spain
    Oppenheimer had it all figured out in advance. The usa leading the way and the Soviet Union playing a deadly, and destructive game of catch up.
    By the early 50's Oppenheimer was sickened with the usa military plan to annihilate 200-300 Million people of the USSR in a span of just one week.
    The bombs had become bigger than the targets.
    But red-baiting was hip in those days.....the poor guy was somewhat vindicated by Johnson of all people.
    Strauss put on the final touches to finish off "Oppy".
    Funny, by many accounts, Oppenheimer was a mean spirited and abusive personality. Lots of people had a hard on for the guy.
    Still a very forward thinking scientist..... he probably would have done better had he stumbled onto the scene in the 1960's.....of course, he would have missed combining New Mexico and Science if he had waited. :)
    Have you guys ever read The Communist Manifesto.? Because none of your statements pertain to any of the teachings of Marx, Engles, Trotsky, etc.
    The comment about taking somebodies watch sounds more like lone sharking in Brooklyn.
    Just as "Democracy" has nothing to do with Richard Nixon......."Communism" has nothing to do with Joe Stalin
    good luck
     
  13. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    What communism became in Russia was the exact opposite from Marx's theory. Under Marxism, there would be no state the workers would own everything. Under Stalin the state became the means of transition. The biggest jump Lenin made was claiming that Russia had a very brief moment of Capitalism so that was enough. What Marx believed that Russia would need to go through a state of capitalism like Germany or Britain. It was only after the state of capitalism existed that the workers could take over.
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    In essence the various regimes that experimented with Communism proved pretty conclusively that it doesn't work. Whether you want to define it as Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Khrushchev, or any other noteworthy did.
     
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  15. GunSlinger86

    GunSlinger86 Well-Known Member

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    Roosevelt's policies were closer to National Socialist economics rather than straight Communism. There are numerous articles and essays on this point. I will look them up and source them. He was a fan of Mussolini in regards to economics in the 20s, and even praised Hitler Germany very early on.

    Basically, the government hand sort of pushed along or guided businesses or the economy to go into certain directions, but the businesses were the private sector, the businesses owned the property, hired workers, paid workers based on competition (that was even lacking in Nazi Germany as the labor society Hitler forced all Germans to join was a racket and kept wages low, and it kept workers in line after he destroyed unions) and the wealthy industrialists of America remained wealthy industrialists, as in Nazi Germany.
     
  16. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    The US did not support Franco during the Spanish Civil war .

    And,if Oppenheimer was considered as a crypto-communist,a fellow traveler,it was his own fault .

    The US had no plans to annihilate 200/300 million of people by the early fifties.

    Why should we read the Communist Manifesto ? I have read it,and it is only a lot of nonsense .Even in the SU noone was interested in the Communist Manifesto,Marx,Engels,Trotzky
     
  17. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    If your build your opinion of "communism" without reading Marx and Lenin you are ignoring some key, easily available, primary sources, reading the full Das Kapital is a bit much but the Manifesto is manageable, Reality was pretty different from what Marx imagined would happen, communist inspired revolutions suceeded in the less industrialized nations, not the more industrialized ones as Marx predicted, and the party bureaucracy instead of decentralizing power as in his theories created an increasingly centralized state that eventually collapsed under it's own inefficiency.

    First use of nuclear weapons was NATO doctrine, they even went to the extreme of burying bombs on the most likely avenues of attack, creating a "use them or loose them" situation that was very likely to degenerate, and the ICBM were targeted at cities. While that cannot be strictly called a consistent "plan to annihilate 200/300 million people" the sum of all the pieces looks a lot like it to any mind trained to collect different facts together in a big picture, and scientists do that.

    The point is that building more and more nukes was not the only available choice. Nukes while hugely expensive, cost less than a large conventional force, especially if you want to avoid conscription that is unpopular with the voters, so politicians jumped on the "nukes saves lives and money" bandwagon and we are still paying the consequences.

    The nuclear race is a good example of the strenghts and weaknesses of the centralized planning systems that came out of communism the Soviets developed nukes far faster than the US think tanks imagined was possible, centralized planning is pretty good at big projects, possibly even overall better than a free market where "bottom line" constraints may lead to very bad choices. The issue is that human happiness depends a lot more overall on "small things" than on big government projects, and of course big government and liberty are very very hard to reconcile, governments, unless there is some very strong mechanism to prevent it from doing it, will put it's own survival as it's top priority, not the good of the people.
     
  18. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    We cannot blame the politicians for jumping on the bandwagon,if we want to blame some one (which we shouldn't) it isthe electors.

    The fact isthat once the nucleair weapons had been developped and used,it was obvious that they would be further developped and that more of them would be built :for more than 10 years after WWII,the nucleair deterrent was the only weapon the West had to deter the SU from a conventional attack .The 6 US divisions ,the 3 British divisions wuld never be able to stop the SU .

    It is not so that ICBM were targeted at cities:they were targeted at cities in the initial years,because they were very primitive :cities were the only objects the ICBM could find,later,when more precise ICBM were available,the ICBM were targeted on the enemy nucleair bases (by both sides) :IMHO,this was a dangerous development,because,it created the illusion that a nucleair war was winnable .
     
  19. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    One can argue that before the war Openheimer was a fellow traveller.What was more important and even crucial is the following : the nucleair deterrent was essential for the survival of the US and the credibility of the claim that the US would use nucleair weapons depended on the strength of its nucleair arsenal,now,during the Korean war,while American soldiers were fighting against communism,some one declared publicly his opposition to the enlargement of the American nucleair arsenal .

    IMHO,the adverse reactions and the measures against Oppenheimer were justified,more than justified .
     
  20. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Neither side gave up targeting population centers. You have to be able to retaliate in kind....

    [​IMG]

    "This map shows that 25 percent of the Chinese population, or 320 million people, could be threatened with only 368 high-yield warheads."

    [​IMG]
    "The key to survival in the first two days after the attack would be staying indoors, preferably in the upper stories of high-rise apartment buildings or in basements. Within hours after the attack, radioactive fallout would descend and accumulate, creating lethal conditions over an area exceeding 300,000 square miles -- larger in size than France and the United Kingdom combined. This map shows how fallout from a "precision" attack on nuclear forces would spread across the Russian landmass.
    Some war planners claim that attacking Russia's nuclear forces is the best option because it does not target civilians. In fact, NRDC's nuclear war simulation demonstrates that between 8 and 12 million people would die in an attack on nuclear forces."

    [​IMG]

    "NRDC used its nuclear-war simulation tools to show how the populations of the United States, Russian and other nations can be threatened with just a small number of weapons. The map above shows where, given today's high-yield nuclear weapons, an opponent would have to explode a mere 300 warheads to kill 25 percent of the population of all NATO member countries -- nearly 189 million people."


    All told, just 741 such warheads worldwide -- a fraction of the current U.S. arsenal -- could threaten with nuclear Armageddon more than half a billion people in the United States and other NATO nations, Russia, China, and worrisome "nuclear wannabes" such as Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Syria and Libya.
    Nuclear arsenals far smaller than those currently deployed by the United States and Russia would remain a terrible threat to modern societies. The truth is that nuclear weapons are simply indiscriminate weapons of mass destruction; all of the complex scenarios of the U.S. nuclear war plan ignore the grotesque results that would occur if nuclear weapons were used.

    The US has an arsenal of 5,113 warheads (2009), down from 22,217 when the Berlin wall fell (1989), and you can't tell me that none of those 22,217 in 1989 were targeting any cities.
     

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