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Author Topic: It's not like the Pope single-handedly defeated Communism
Michelle
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posted 07 April 2005 04:07 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A friend sent me this article.

quote:
This week, it's been a given in most of the tributes to the pope that he was fully or at least largely responsible for the fall of communism and the collapse of the Soviet empire. And surely, this pope's firm and insistently communicated stand for freedom inspired his fellow Poles to rise up against the regime that controlled their country.

But elsewhere in the old Eastern Bloc, the pope's impact was at least a couple of steps removed from the courageous decisions that ordinary people made to head out onto the streets and march in protests that they fully expected would be met with absolute resistance from the Soviet forces and their local puppets.

Sixteen years later, we are already losing the collective memory of the enormous leaps that mothers and fathers took that fall. They stepped out of their apartments and walked into the city centers in Leipzig and Dresden and Prague and smaller towns in one country after another, and in many cases, before they left home, they said what they thought was a last goodbye to their children or parents. I looked back at my notes from those demonstrations and found page after page chronicling the certainty that many demonstrators felt that they would be shot at that night, that they would be seen by their neighbors who were snitches and that they would lose their jobs, that their children would be removed from good schools, that their lives would never again be the same.

So I always asked: Why are you doing this? And the answers came in a torrent, as if decades of silence had been unplugged. Especially in East Germany, where almost everyone could watch West German TV (though they had to keep the volume way down because it was strictly verboten to watch, and if the neighbor heard, there could be trouble), people talked about their jealousy for the material goods that Westerners enjoyed—the clothes, the shoes, the cars, the food. They talked about their dreams of traveling outside the Soviet Bloc and about the hopes—mainly for a particular career or area of study—they'd had when they were young. And they talked about the freedom to say what they wanted or to teach their children about realities other than what the socialist state had ordained.



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remind
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posted 07 April 2005 04:28 PM      Profile for remind     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Peronsally, I agree with the writer of the article, however, I would rather the Pope get the credit than Ronald Reagan and the USA.
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Erstwhile
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posted 07 April 2005 05:31 PM      Profile for Erstwhile     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What...the Pope didn't personally lead an elite strike force of Free World commandos, making their way through the sewers of Moscow using garotte wire to eliminate the Soviet guards they happened across, until they reached the Kremlin, at which point they leaped out and drew their automatic weapons and readied their awesom kung-fu moves (the Pope himself being an expert in Adamantine Genuflection Style), fought their way through guards, Doberman Pinschers and the Supreme Soviet, until they had Gorbachev cornered and he was all like "Don't hurt me! What do you want?" and the Pope's all like "Listen you whiny Commie scuzzbag, it's time to dismantle your Godless Communism, don't make us come back now, you hear?", and leaving Gorbachev all trussed up in specially modified Rosary beads, then returning to their secret team base for beers and pizza and the sweet, sweet taste of Freedom, awaiting the fall of the Iron Curtain?

Huh.

Must've dreamed it.


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aka Mycroft
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posted 07 April 2005 06:04 PM      Profile for aka Mycroft     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I thought the fall of the Soviet Union was due to its own internal contradictions accentuated by decades of bureaurcratic sclerosis which could not be overcome by Gorbachev's reforms. Moreover, his policiy of perestroika proved to be a disaster.

Either that or it was Superman.

Reagan, if anything, threatened to ignite the situation that existed under Andropov and Chernenko, we now know that the Soviet leadership was very close to launching a preemptive strike because many of them were convinced that Reagan was planning to attack the Soviet Union.


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maestro
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posted 07 April 2005 07:05 PM      Profile for maestro     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Biggest single factor in the downfall of the Soviet Union was the rise of the Islamic fundamentalist movement in Afghanistan.

With the support (financial, materiel, and political) of the US and the UK, the various groups of Islamic fighters were able to inflict terrible casualties on the Soviet troops.

Specifically the supply of Stinger missiles enabled the guerillas to shoot down Soviet helicopters more or less at will.

At the same time, the US taught the fundamentalists to 'tax' the opium farmers in order to finance the war. Opium collected was sent to Pakistan for rendering into heroin in Pakistani Intelligence labs, then shipped into Europe and Russia.

The Islamic fundametalist armies then branched out into the southern Soviet republics which had mostly Muslim populations, as well as Kosovo and Bosnia, and then further north into Chechnya where they still cause plenty of problems for the Russian government.

The heroin trade continues on much as it did in the 80's, with Afghanistan supplying up to 75% of the world's heroin. The cultivation and movement of this heroin was facilitated by the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

Another fine show brought to you by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, Paul Wolfowitz, et al.


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Cueball
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posted 07 April 2005 11:30 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Never forget that Zbignew Brzezinski, (State Deparment under Carter) claims this title, on the basis of signing the memo that started the Afghan war for the Soviets.

Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinsk from Le Nouvel Observateur

quote:
Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don't regret anything today?

B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundementalists, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?



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Fidel
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posted 08 April 2005 12:40 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Even with cold war mentality working against them, Cuban's are doing better by comparison.

Meanwhile, Putin has de-privatised Yukos, power generation and a few more goodies. Somebody must have told the Russian's that laissez-faire capitalism failed in 1929 and hasn't worked anywhere since then.

Hopefully Russia will be able to reverse enough of the Yeltsin reforms and reduce abject poverty to somewhere near pre-glasnost levels. Let them privatise the other end of the cow, the part that needs feeding.

[ 08 April 2005: Message edited by: Fidel ]


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nister
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posted 08 April 2005 05:23 AM      Profile for nister     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Maestro, the Stinger missiles forced the Hinds to fly at greater mission height. Certainly, some Hinds were lost. Their effectiveness was the real loss.

That said, Chernobyl killed the USSR.


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Mr. Magoo
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posted 08 April 2005 05:27 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What's all this tomfoolery about Communism falling?

Wasn't it established that there's never ever been a "Communism"? And that by definition, if a political system resembling Communism — and perhaps even calling itself Communism — fails, then it was never really Communism in the first place?


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BleedingHeart
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posted 08 April 2005 06:24 AM      Profile for BleedingHeart   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What did the Pope do against Communism while he was archbishop of Krakow as opposed to what he alledgedly did while in the safety of the Holy See.

BTW satellite television and also the decision of the Hungarian government to open the border with Austria lead to the fall of communism


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Black Dog
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posted 08 April 2005 08:28 AM      Profile for Black Dog   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
So who was it? the Pop or Reagan? Anyone else think this calls for a Dead Celebrity Deathmatch to settle the question?
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faith
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posted 08 April 2005 08:40 AM      Profile for faith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Soviets failed because instead of proceeding with their social reforms such as education, medicine and land reform for the citiizens which initially showed signs of real improvement for the people it got sucked into an arms race and military ego contest with the USA which it couldn't afford.
A financially hamstrung Soviet empire was not the same strong presence to anyone in Europe as well as their own citizens. Besides cheering on the Soviet man on the street that was initiating and carrying out a mostly peaceful revolt , what else could anyone in the west possibly take responsibility for except being a cheerleader?

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Hephaestion
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posted 08 April 2005 10:11 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Wojtyla never "defeated communism" at ALL. The Amish and the Hutterites kicked his ass and sent him home with his tail between his legs and "communism" is still very much alive and well, thank you very much!
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oldgoat
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posted 08 April 2005 11:25 AM      Profile for oldgoat     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The above points, with a couple of obvious although visually appealing exceptions are not mutually exclusive, and are all somewhat right. The Pope was an (and not the only) immediate cause, or a precipitant. Empires can be rotten and ready to fall for decades or longer, even looking invincible during this time, but will remain standing until they're kicked.

Isaac Azimov understood this. The combination of the Pope, and Lech Walansa at the same time were important factors in a perfect "Seldon Crisis"


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Vigilante
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posted 08 April 2005 01:10 PM      Profile for Vigilante        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
What's all this tomfoolery about Communism falling?
Wasn't it established that there's never ever been a "Communism"? And that by definition, if a political system resembling Communism — and perhaps even calling itself Communism — fails, then it was never really Communism in the first place?

Neo-liberal types like the definition how it is. Of course people like Fidel continue this lie as well.

I think the fall of State Capitalism showed that state power and order in general is a flimsy thing. Baudrillard got it right I think. It's not so rendered as Foucault was saying. Once the people have had enough the whole thing can fall to shit. Nearly happened in France in 68, happened in the Red Fascist states. The people had enough and it fell.


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Coyote
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posted 08 April 2005 01:19 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
And yet . . . the State remains, and the majority of people want it to remain. The form a given state takes, that is up for debate; but not the existence of one.

I have a lot of sympathy for Anarchists, and know many who do good work in their communities; I can't help but thinking, however, that their Ideology is nothing more than a side-discussion unrelated to the real world.


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Cueball
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posted 08 April 2005 04:07 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Vigilante:

Neo-liberal types like the definition how it is. Of course people like Fidel continue this lie as well.

I think the fall of State Capitalism showed that state power and order in general is a flimsy thing. Baudrillard got it right I think. It's not so rendered as Foucault was saying. Once the people have had enough the whole thing can fall to shit. Nearly happened in France in 68, happened in the Red Fascist states. The people had enough and it fell.


All fruit is the same.


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quagmire
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posted 08 April 2005 05:33 PM      Profile for quagmire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by faith:
The Soviets failed because instead of proceeding with their social reforms such as education, medicine and land reform for the citiizens which initially showed signs of real improvement for the people it got sucked into an arms race and military ego contest with the USA which it couldn't afford.

Why couldn't they afford it? Was it because the whole system of communism doesn't work? Too much food rotting in the fields instead of being harvested? Not enough infrastructure to take advantage of the western ideas that they did steal? Central planning doesn't work, or at least it didn't work in the USSR. It's hopelessly inefficient. Even with the communists using slave labour and saying to hell with the enviroment, Reagan still kicked their ass in the final innings of the cold war.


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Cueball
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posted 08 April 2005 05:51 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Or was it because the Soviet Union existed in a stretch of country with only 1/3 the arable land of the United States while maintaining similar population? Its important to remember that econmies also exist outside of the exonmist office, and whatever ideas they may have about how to run the economy.

[ 08 April 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


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maestro
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posted 08 April 2005 06:21 PM      Profile for maestro     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Why couldn't they afford it? Was it because the whole system of communism doesn't work?

Well, it certainly doens't reap profits from empire. That was the basic difference between the US Empire and the Soviet Empire. The Soviet Empire cost a fortune because they had no private enterprise to profit from far flung resources.

quote:
Too much food rotting in the fields instead of being harvested?

Not enough infrastructure to take advantage of the western ideas that they did steal?


Actually plenty of food rots here too. Difference is they put armed guards on the dumps to prevent people from 'stealing' the garbage.

quote:
Central planning doesn't work, or at least it didn't work in the USSR. It's hopelessly inefficient.

Jeez, what do you call the central banking system in capitalist countries? That's not central planning? How about all the head offices of private companies that institute policy followed by all the local businesses? That's not central plannning?

quote:
Even with the communists using slave labour and saying to hell with the enviroment, Reagan still kicked their ass in the final innings of the cold war.

Yes he did, with the help of billions in aid to fundamentalist Islamic groups, as well as a wink and a nod when those groups used the heroin trade to raise money. In fact more than a wink and a nod. It was Pakistani intelligence, with the backing of the US that facilitated the heroin trade.


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NDP Newbie
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posted 08 April 2005 06:41 PM      Profile for NDP Newbie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Defeat communism?

But Leung Kwok-hung is very much alive and is even more popular in Hong Kong than Duceppe is in Quebec.


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faith
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posted 08 April 2005 07:47 PM      Profile for faith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My knowledge of the Soviet Union is from watching a documentary or two on PBS, high school history, family dinner table discussion and reading media reports.
What I remember about the Soviet Union is that it was called the 'breadbasket' of Europe. People in Russia knew how to work the land and had been doing just that , what would make you think that hungry people would let food rot? Russia emerged from a fuedalistic state ,went through almost a total breakdown of society in revolution and then emerged as a world power- whether you agree or disagree with their system of government you have to admire what they accomplished in a very short time. The Tsars let the nation fall to pieces and the people starve, there was an enormous amount of ground to make up for the Russian people. Within a few generations they were the first nation in space - there was a nation that copied that idea ,who was that again?
Like I said before I am no expert on Soviet culture but it would seem that many of the criticisms of the path the Soviets took could be applied to the US today. Excessive military spending to the extent of ignoring the welfare of its citizens, the highest incarceration rate in the world , using incarcerated citizens as slave labour, fighting futile unwinnable wars,
engaging in a tightly controlled media environment, and providing less and less in the way of a future for its young people unless through the military. These things and others have all been used to describe the flaws of the Soviet Union but they fit the description of the US today.

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quagmire
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posted 08 April 2005 08:38 PM      Profile for quagmire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
This criminal activity of the Soviet authorities sparked protests and violent reaction on the part of the civilian population in Ukraine and in Russia. Railway workers, assigned to trains transporting grain to the Ukrainian ports of Odessa, Mykolayiv and Kherson, as well as workers on Russian lines (some grain was shipped through the Baltic ports) went on strike. Grain trains were blown up by peasant and partisan bands. In April 1922, a grain elevator in Mykolayiv, containing some 10,000 tons of grain destined for export, was set on fire. Soviet criminal policies drove the population to desperate acts.

Some protest against the sale of Ukrainian wheat abroad came from Ukrainian members of the Communist Party. At a plenary session of the Central Committee in Moscow, on November 15, 1922, Romanchuk, a delegate from the Mykolayiv workers, condemned the party's decision to export Ukrainian grain:

"Perhaps in Moscow, where one is well-fed, one can elaborate export projects. In the Kherson region, once rich but now starving, not only is it impossible to speak about such things seriously but, I would add, it is dangerous to mention them to peasants and especially workers. (...) It is from the south that the grain will leave; it will precisely pass through the country where 4 million people are starving and will probably not be able to survive until spring."

On his way to Moscow, Romanchuk witnessed the destruction of grain collected from the people. "With tears in my eyes, I saw heaps of rotting grain around which comrade soldiers of the Red Army were keeping guard, absolutely uselessly, since instead of grain there was only manure."

"The village population," conclude Romanchuk, "demanded from its delegates that they prevent the export of even one pud (36 pounds) of grain (...) The workers and the sailors of Mykolayiv condemned this project as robbery of the last piece of bread snatched from starving workers. This, comrades, is the authentic voice of the people..."



http://www.ukrweekly.com/Archive/1988/458814.shtml

Central planning of an economy doesn't work.

http://tinyurl.com/6r7vo


http://www.oilcrisis.com/reynolds/SovietDecline.htm

quote:
It was clear soon thereafter that with Eastern European economies in decline and with discontent rising, the Soviet Union had to decide between letting Eastern European countries leave the Soviet empire or controlling them militarily and giving them virtually free oil. Since Soviet oil was becoming a precious commodity, the Soviets had no choice but to let go of Eastern Europe. Without the free oil, the Eastern European economies went into a tailspin. Subsequent discontent pushed them toward democracy. The Soviet Union was left trying to simply keep NATO troops out of Eastern Europe but still letting the Eastern Europeans become democracies. CMEA was dismantled, (BW 1989a). No longer did the Soviet Union appear to have the will to push its communist ideal.

But the changes were not yet over. The Soviet Union itself was in decline. In the fall of 1989, with prices still fixed, a curious phenomenon occurred. Soviet wheat and other agriculture crops were rotting in the fields (BW 1989b). How could that have happened? We know that Soviet oil production was already declining and that oil prices inside the Soviet Union were still set well below world prices. Yet free markets were not introduced in the Soviet Union until early 1991. At first one might suspect rotting crops were due to a low artificial price that gave no incentive to harvest them. However, there were in fact black markets all over the country at that time. Harvested crops could have easily been sold if they could simply be transported to a black market. Ellman (1992) suggests that it was changes in administrations with continuous reorganization of the agricultural complex that caused it. However, again, black markets give incentives that can overcome poor government planning.

The problem was more likely a lack of petrol. Gasoline or oil sold on international markets would have provided a tempting source of hard currency reserves for the government in order to import needed food and technology. Undoubtedly much Soviet oil was being sold by the Soviet authorities or by black marketers on spot world markets. It would have been especially tempting for the government itself to sell on the world markets in order to pay interest payments on loans. With more oil sold abroad, there would be oil shortages in agriculture. And since agriculture is a highly petroleum-intensive industry, it is no wonder crops were left to rot on farms. No one had petrol to harvest the crops and transport them to market.


[ 08 April 2005: Message edited by: quagmire ]


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charlieM
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posted 08 April 2005 08:41 PM      Profile for charlieM     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
To go back to the orignal topic...I do not believe the pope played any large part in "defeating the invading evil force of communism". Yes, he was against it, and yes, he lived in Italy. What system did the VAST majority of catholics live under....I dont need to say it. And what did the pope say to preists fighting FOR communism, against capitalist (dictatorships)regimes? find out.
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Cueball
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posted 08 April 2005 09:06 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Look Quagmire, I think it is very important to be critical of the Soviet Union.

But I don't think that you can take a report citing problems in 1922, as indicative of the overall problems with central planning (of which I agree their are many.) For one thing its at the very end of civil war, for another you are talking about an economy that was completely unidusrialized and in ruins do to years of semi-feudal rule. It's like saying that the state of Iraq today is an pure example of how capitalism doens't "work."


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Crippled_Newsie
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posted 08 April 2005 09:08 PM      Profile for Crippled_Newsie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by faith:
What I remember about the Soviet Union is that it was called the 'breadbasket' of Europe.

What I recall are massive sales of North American grain to cover Soviet shortfalls, and the inevitable political posturing over whether to say 'yea' or 'nay to those sales.

quote:
People in Russia knew how to work the land and had been doing just that, what would make you think that hungry people would let food rot?

The Central Committee of the Ukraine (the 'breadbasket of the USSR') thought it knew why when it sought (in 1932) to stop "sabotage of grain collection, which has been organized by kulak and counterrevolutionary elements; to liquidate the resistance of some of the rural communists, who in fact have become the leaders of the sabotage; [and] to eliminate the passivity and complacency toward the saboteurs[...]"


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quagmire
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posted 08 April 2005 09:55 PM      Profile for quagmire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:
Look Quagmire, I think it is very important to be critical of the Soviet Union.

But I don't think that you can take a report citing problems in 1922, as indicative of the overall problems with central planning (of which I agree their are many.) For one thing its at the very end of civil war, for another you are talking about an economy that was completely unidusrialized and in ruins do to years of semi-feudal rule. It's like saying that the state of Iraq today is an pure example of how capitalism doens't "work."


That was just the first of several famines.


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Cueball
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posted 08 April 2005 09:56 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes but now look at the map and note that 2/3 of the soviet union is north of Canada. The US is not. Just look at the map. Such food shortages are not necessarilyy a result of central planning but otehr factors, although central planning may be a factor as well. The USSR had a grain prudcing region 1/3 the size of the US.
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Cueball
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posted 08 April 2005 10:57 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by quagmire:

That was just the first of several famines.


Believe me I know the history. I have studied the command economy in depth. Certianly there were problems but quoting statistics from the civil war period doesnt cut it, in terms of identifying one sole cause for the collapse of the Soviet economy.

Making comparisons between the US and the Soviet Union are completely sckewed. For instance the US did not had a major war fought on it soil after 1865. Likwise, comparisons to Western Europe are also problematic given that post ww2, the US invested hugely in proping up the economy, largley as a result of the Treaty of Versaille experience. The list goes on an on for factors that contrbuted to the demise of Soviets State, (for instance that in order to stay competative militarly with US 60% of the economy was devoted to the military*) but one has to look at a range of factors, and one can not simply say the command economy doesn't work without looking at a broad range of factors.

It is not as if the Soviet Union existed in a vacuum seperate from the influence of the rest of the world, and was thus an pure example to be used as an empircal test case. Nor should this detract from making very severe criticism of the way the economy was managed, particullarly in the priod just after the revolution.

*Isn't this exaclty what the Reaganites claim -- that the drove the economy into the ground and that was intentional. How can you argue that the Soviet experience is a perfect emperical example of how the command economy "does not work," when the enemies of the USSR explicitly stated that it was their intention to destory the economy through competition?

For instance against the Soviet experience I could balance the Chinese experience, and note that it was their command economy that protected seeds that have become the basis for China's burgeoning growth of the last decade. And why not?

Catch all explanation, such as, "the command ecomomy does not work," are overly simplistic and hard to prove. Especially when you consider they replicated 400 years of industrial development in less than 50 years, put together a signifcant space program and achieved in a number of areas that are the traditional benhcmark of capitalist success, such as the field of medicine. Compare that to Africa, or most of Asia, and now Latin America hobbling along under capitalist leadership.

[ 08 April 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
al-Qa'bong
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posted 08 April 2005 11:26 PM      Profile for al-Qa'bong   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 

From: Saskatchistan | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Vigilante
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posted 09 April 2005 10:40 AM      Profile for Vigilante        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Coyote:
And yet . . . the State remains, and the majority of people want it to remain. The form a given state takes, that is up for debate; but not the existence of one.

You're right, the people have spoken.People change However. I think that most Russians may have wanted the state gone 87 years ago. The reason Lenin was able to win was based on his anti-state lies. If we look ar Argentina however, we see some areas that look alot like anarcho-sydicalism. A number of people are increasingly turned off by statist solutions. The ones that put their faith in Kirchner have recently got their hearts broken by his IMF deal. It's only so long before the people who want meaningfull change realize that leftist like Lula and Kirchner say one thing do another. I'm not saying that there's an anarchist revolution imminent, however exciting things are happening in places like Argentina and Bolivia. The next 5-10 years could be telling.

quote:
I have a lot of sympathy for Anarchists, and know many who do good work in their communities; I can't help but thinking, however, that their Ideology is nothing more than a side-discussion unrelated to the real world.

Well an increasing amount of anti-globalisation types may dissagree. I think that leftists defined what it is to be losers in the 20th century. People are seeing the results of the Lulas and the Kirchners, people have examined the statist turned despotic results of the last century realizing it was all more of the same and then some.

It's century 21. Time for a change. The old guard like Tariq Ali are calling the ant-authoritarian views irrelevent, however it's the younger types who realize that people like Ali are living in the past. Groups like Peoples Global Action are taking the struggle into the post-left 21st century. With all the fucked up things about to go down environmentally this century, I can take some comfort in knowing this.

quote:
faith:
then emerged as a world power

Perhaps this was the problem to begin with.

[ 09 April 2005: Message edited by: Vigilante ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Papal Bull
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posted 09 April 2005 10:54 AM      Profile for Papal Bull   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Soviet Union began to fall when Stalin came to power. His ideas were toxic. They poisoned anything that could've truly helped the nation. Then, during the 80s, the circumstances stacked against the Soviets just meant that the thing was doomed to fall. The influence of the Pope and the rest of the west just made the process move faster.
From: Vatican's best darned ranch | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
AppleSeed
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posted 09 April 2005 11:12 AM      Profile for AppleSeed     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Heh.

Qa'bong, I'm sure that plays well on Wall Street!

And now, back to interest in our futures.


From: In Dreams | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
bodhitrees
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Babbler # 8000

posted 15 April 2005 06:20 PM      Profile for bodhitrees        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As many or few may remember the speech the pope ended ,the gist was my people cannot live like this,after visitin the Mexico City games.
I remember vividly the words,ominous and thick with meaning in my mind.Linda McQuaig has it right ,by the way ,not all are idolizing the pope.
After his speech many books detailed the power of the vatican's bank and influence in the capital game in the nyse etc. ,the weight caannot be overestimated ,also the priviledge of not paying tax on capital gain and property tax has allowed influence to grow ,natch.Power is as power does,you must use it to make an effect.
The papacy didn't end poverty orany other plague on the time he was in the shoes of the fisherman,hmmmm,why not?John paul biggest contribution to the world stage can be stated as a consumate actor,which alll the pwerful politicans and aristos can appreciate.
This skill should not be undervalued.
He has deluded the world and the media fawns at his feet.
So be it.

From: canada west | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 15 April 2005 07:44 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There are times when it occurs to me that the treasures of the Vatican could be sold and the proceeds given to aid the poor and the halt and the lame and the blind and so on and so forth, and then reality sets in and I wake up realizing it'll never happen.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
faith
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Babbler # 4348

posted 15 April 2005 08:10 PM      Profile for faith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The vatican would not even have to give the money away from the sale of the treasures and works of art that sit in vaults and line the walls of papal apartments. It could keep the money and use it to heal the sick , educatethe poor,invest in land to run as co-operative farms for the poor in third world countries, as well as any number of other worthwhile projects that could actually change the way people live. I also think if this kind of thing was done by an authoritative organisation like the RCC and it was widespread enough , if might just permanently change governments of the world.
The wealth would not have to be given away just put to work for the benefit of humanity. If there was a vatican adminstration brave enough they could probably win back many lapsed Catholics.

From: vancouver | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 15 April 2005 08:38 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Fully in agreement. On another list I subscribe to, I brought this up, and was rebuffed, the argument being that those treasures are "for the glory of God" or some such bullshit.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged

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