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Was Stalin a Nationalist?

Discussion in 'The Political World' started by Nakosis, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Stalin’s Russia is a nationalist society; it is the enemy of socialism and any movement which seeks to establish the socialist society—the free order of the exploited peoples of the world.
    Under Stalin, the Communist International was made to conform to the nationalist interests of Russia. Every situation which developed in other countries, promising to further the new world order of socialism, was brutally destroyed — not only by the forces of reaction and fascism, but by international Stalinism acting through its agents in the “Communist” parties of other countries, and through the GPU, which operates throughout the world.

    How Stalin destroyed communism | Workers' Liberty

    Should we even consider Russia under Stalin an example of Communism?

    If not, what is a good example of Communism?
     
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  2. Lyndon

    Lyndon "Peace is the answer" quote: GOD, 2014
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  3. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    As far as I know, there is no real good example of this anywhere and probably never will :)

    The reason being that anyone can claim that they have it, if they believe they do.

    If we look at the definition of communism:

    a theory or system of social organization in which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs.

    Then you can "decide" what it actually mean with "each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs." In the Soviet Union, it was clear that, when you look at it from the outside and probably also from within, that some people did not really receive according to their ability and needs... some got a lot more than they needed, while others got a lot less. So is that communism or not according to the definition at least?

    But Stalin thought that it was communism, so what can you do :D It's a lot more accurate in my opinion to say that they had state capitalism:

    State capitalism is an economic system in which the state undertakes business and commercial economic activity (i.e. for-profit) and where the means of production are organized and managed as state-owned enterprises (including the processes of capital accumulation, centralized management and wage labor), or where there is otherwise a dominance of corporatized government agencies (agencies organized along business-management practices) or of public companies such as publicly listed corporations in which the state has controlling shares.

    So if the state is corrupt or incompetent, obviously the whole country is going to suffer.

    Then you have Corporate capitalism:

    Corporate capitalism is a capitalist market economy dominated by hierarchical and bureaucratic corporations that control the factors of production and the amount of profits they generate. These corporations are either owned by an individual or by a group of people who are liable to bankruptcy.

    Which I think most people think is a lot better, but as we know this have massive issues as well, which in some cases seems to share a lot of commonality with state capitalism, such as them having to much power, greed, political corruption and so on.

    As an example from the US:
    The top one percent of the usual income distribution holds over $25 trillion in wealth, which exceeds the wealth of the bottom 80 percent. That is more than all the goods and services produced in the U.S. economy in 2018.

    Which in my opinion is insane, when they know how many of their population is having a hard time.

    Then you have the evil socialism which a lot of people are very scared of:
    Socialism is an economic and political system. It is an economic theory of social organization. It believes that the means of making, moving, and trading wealth should be owned or controlled by the workers. ... People who agree with this type of system are called socialists.

    Guess its a lot better to keep the wealth with the 1% :D
     
    #3 Nimos, Jun 30, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
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  4. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    There are no good examples of Communism. Just good examples of the result.
     
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  5. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    What about the Incas, in South America, before the conquistadors overthrew the empire?
    What about the Hutterites, of today?
     
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  6. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
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    Stalin was a Stalinist. He was pro Stalin. The Russian people wanted to replace the Tzar system and the Church with a different kind of government, however they were betrayed in the process. The entire valiant effort exploded in their faces. Plus they suffered from their climate when Stalins folks failed to fairly distribute the food in a communist fashion. By the way the USA (with its huge temperate climate and ample wheat) tried several times to assist soviets with food, but Stalin's dynasty refused to admit any failure and hated US assistance. It was always concerned that people would realize it was a bungling failure and tried to hide its faults. Because of this many more people starved than should have. Many. Many people starved. That's on Stalin and his Stalinistas. An iron curtain of disinformation dropped around the USSR. It wouldn't let information in or out.

    In some ways the Tzar was better, however change had to come. His time had come, and his form of government was a failure. Its sad that change happened in such a painful fashion. Its so grim. The way that I feel about politics here is nothing compared. Comparatively speaking its like I'm living in a heaven. Even though I complain, and even though we have republican/democrat problems we have nothing as bad as Stalin's regime. It was just the worst thing that could have happened to those people. Without Stalin the soviets may actually have worked. They might have thrived. We'll never know.
     
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  7. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    Stalin was a Nationalist, in the broad sense of the word, yes.
    Trotsky would be the interesting counterpoint in terms of a Global communist ideology.

    But for all his intelligence, Trotsky lost the battle politically.
     
  8. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    There is an idea that Stalin 'betrayed the revolution' and if only Lenin had survived longer then everything would have been much better.

    It's the equivalent of a "Lost Cause"/"Stab in the back" myth for commies to explain away all of the problems with the Soviet Union.

    Lenin began the persecutions, purges and the gulags. Millions starved under Lenin, but aid was rejected. Communist ideas were abandoned in the name of pragmatism: New Economic Policy - Wikipedia

    The major problems of the Soviet Union derived from its very nature, not just a 'bad apple'. It became what it was bound to become: corrupt, oppressive, inefficient.

    The first requirement for authoritarian power is self-preservation. So as the needs for survival changed 'global revolution' took a back seat to protecting the Party. What is good for the party is automatically good for the revolution after all.

    Ex-commuist Arthur Koestler noted something similar in his novel, Darkness at noon (which is an excellent book and gives a very good insight into the logic of Soviet Communism.)

    “Why did you execute Bogrov?”

    “Why? Because of the submarine question,” said Ivanov. “It concerned the problem of tonnage” “—an old quarrel, the beginnings of which must be familiar to you.

    “Bogrov advocated the construction of submarines of large tonnage and a long range of action. The Party is in favour of small submarines with a short range. You can build three times as many small submarines for your money as big ones. Both parties had valid technical arguments. The experts made a big display of technical sketches and algebraic formulae; but the actual problem lay in quite a different sphere. Big submarines mean: a policy of aggression, to further world revolution. Small submarines mean coastal defense—that is, self-defense and postponement of world revolution. The latter is the point of view of No. 1, and the Party.

    “Bogrov had a strong following in the Admiralty and amongst the officers of the old guard. It would not have been enough to put him out of the way; he also had to be discredited. A trial was projected to unmask the partisans of big tonnage as saboteurs and traitors. We had already brought several little engineers to the point of being willing to confess publicly to whatever we liked. But Bogrov wouldn’t play the game. He declaimed up to the very end of big tonnage and world revolution. He was two decades behind the times. He would not understand that the times are against us, that Europe is passing through a period of reaction, that we are in the hollow of a wave and must wait until we are lifted by the next. In a public trial he would only have created confusion amongst the people. There was no other way possible than to liquidate him administratively. Would not you have done the same thing in our position?”


    Arthur Koestler. “Darkness at Noon.”
     
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  9. Stevicus

    Stevicus Veteran Member
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    I'm not sure I would characterize Stalin as a complete nationalist, although he did support the principle of socialism in one country and made it a higher priority than world revolution. That was probably more of a practical move than ideological, since the world revolution wasn't panning out as expected. They couldn't just sit around and wait for world revolution to happen when they still had their own country to rebuild.

    It does seem incongruous to consider Stalin, a Georgian, to be a nationalist. If he was a nationalist, what kind of nationalist was he? He wasn't a Russian nationalist, nor a pan-Slavic nationalist. He wasn't a Georgian nationalist either.

    Imperial Russia was very much pro-Russian nationalist and implemented Russification programs in the non-Russian areas.

    The Soviet Union had 15 Republics each with their own distinct nationality, along with more than 100 different languages across the Soviet Union. Many ethnic groups had their own Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republics (ASSRs).

    Chapter 10, Article 123 of the Soviet Constitution of 1936 (https://www.departments.bucknell.edu/russian/const/1936toc.html) guaranteed equality of treatment:

    ARTICLE 123. Equality of rights of citizens of the U.S.S.R., irrespective of their nationality or race, in all spheres of economic, state, cultural, social and political life, is an indefeasible law. Any direct or indirect restriction of the rights of, or, conversely, any establishment of direct or indirect privileges for, citizens on account of their race or nationality, as well as any advocacy of racial or national exclusiveness or hatred and contempt, is punishable by law.

    This article, just by itself, is the exact opposite of nationalism, which favors one nationality over others.

    The Soviets did support national liberation movements against the capitalist/imperialist powers, and some of these movements had nationalistic characteristics of indigenous peoples resisting the hegemony of foreign powers. That may have been a possible source of ideological inconsistency, as it's difficult to encourage global cooperation and internationalism when people in a country are trying to throw off the yoke of imperialism and oppression by foreign powers. Nationalism also reared its ugly head in many of the newly independent former colonies whose boundaries were artificially drawn and which contained multiple nationalities within the same country. This left a rather messy and chaotic situation in many African countries, leading to civil wars and nationalistic disputes.
     
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  10. Samantha Rinne

    Samantha Rinne Resident Genderfluid Writer/Artist

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    No, Stalin is not a nationalist. Due to our highly charged political society, we conflate nationalism with some sort of fascism or maybe traditionalism. No.

    Nationalism means patriotism. It can morph in imperialism, which is the idea that one's country is so great "others should have our advantages" and invade other lands. But it doesn't have to.

    Not Marx, Lenin, Stalin, or Mao, none of the founding leaders of communism were at all patriotic. And we can see from Angela Merkel's shame at seeing a German flag she isn't much better as a socialist. The key problems of communism/socialism is that thet devalue the farmers because they seem to be wealthy from owning large tracts of lands (uhhhhhh they also grow everyone's food so if you screw them over, people starve), punish those who don't cooperate with the program, and generally kill many of their own citizens for not being in complete conformity. Such regime value conformity > lives of countrymen.

    Not nationalist.
     
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  11. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    Seems to me it's only a difference in degree. Tribalism is tribalism.
     
  12. Tambourine

    Tambourine Well-Known Member

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    There are no good examples of Capitalism.
     
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