forced prison labor

anonymous asked:

hi why do you think communism has failed in the past? or do you think it did not fail by its own fault? what should be done to avoid the millions of deaths and human rights violations that occurred in the past? i hope i don't come across as disrespectful but after reading the gulag archipelago i just think communism is the most evil political system ever developed. and i'm certainly not much of a fan of capitalism either

there’s a lot of answers to this tbh depending on what movements we’re talking about. since you bring up the gulag archipelago i’m guessing you mean marxist-leninist states, in which a lot of evil shit happened absolutely. any communist movement that includes forced labor camps isn’t something I want to be a part of we’re in agreement there. 

but the most evil political system ever developed?? no. at the very worst it was only equal to capitalism in it’s evil. there are companies profiting off of forced prison labor under capitalism right now. it’s not even something that we can claim ended a few decades ago it’s still going on. people are to this day dying in unlivable prison conditions, usually for crimes that don’t even harm anyone. plus i mean yeah the gulag system was an awful atrocity but i’m not sure Solzhenitsyn is the best source to go to on that, given that he’s been accused of anti-semitism numerous times. there’s plenty of other reasons to oppose gulags without citing a person who may have believed that jewish people were to blame for them. 

why marxist-leninst states have failed in the past is something I think both the people running them and the capitalists opposing them are responsible for. there was a really bad combination of the US and it’s allies doing everything they could to sabotage and brutally repress communist movements and forcing them into desperate situations and leaders within these movements who were willing to justify any evil for a cause that eventually wasn’t even recognizable as communism anymore. how to avoid it happening again is a much harder question for me to answer. i believe that democracy is the best way to prevent it but democracy takes many forms and means different things to different people. i don’t see the oligarchies we currently live under as democratic any more than the marxist-leninist states were. i think each person needs to actually have a voice in decisions that affect them. the form that takes can vary as much as any community varies from another. 

there’s the maoist idea of cultural revolution as well, which i think would have been useful in the USSR. even tho it was really only implemented in China as a way for Mao to regain power after the Great Leap Forward. I think the idea that class struggle continues after communist revolution and people in authority need to continue to be questioned and criticized has some value imo bc i do think the revolution in Russia created a new class relationship that replicated the capitalist relations of production and i think it would have been good if more communists had realized it at the time. 

none of this even begins to explore the various other forms of communist thought. there’s really a lot more to it than the communism you’re familiar with. there’s a lot of tendencies that were critical and outspoken against the gulags and other human rights violations. that’s another part of the problem, communists were often fighting themselves over ideological differences and the divisions this caused was another reason for it’s failure. 

anyways i hope this adequately answers your question. i’m not the best at answering this kind of stuff but i try. if you have other questions let me know.