soviet state

usatoday.com
Stanislav Petrov, Soviet soldier credited with saving world from nuclear war, dies at 77
Stanislav Petrov was monitoring an early warning system from a bunker outside Moscow when the radar screen appeared to depict an inbound US missile.

Petrov, thinking that any U.S. attack should have involved even more missiles to limit the chance of Soviet retaliation, told his Kremlin bosses the alert must have been caused by a malfunction. He persuaded Moscow not to shoot back.

It was later determined that Russian satellites must have mistaken sunlight reflecting off clouds for nuclear missiles.

Petrov’s reward? He was chastised for failing to provide proper paperwork, he said.

chasing--the--universe  asked:

I'd to point you to a couple of things. They are. Soviet Russia. Maoist China

Original.

Soviet Russia and China are examples of countries that were still entrenched in feudalism at the times of their respective socialist revolutions, which effectively catapulted them into variations of state capitalist development instead of full workers-democratically-control-production socialism. The state became the analogous capitalist class and instituted developments and policies over the course of a few decades that private capitalists elsewhere were pushing for centuries – think forced proletarianization of peasants and concentrated industrialization. The state took over the functions of a bunch of private capitalists, appropriating surplus value generated by workers and distributing the surplus where deemed necessary; they often put this towards the industrialization of infrastructure and public services, but it just as often was used to enrich the party apparatus. Even Lenin literally deemed this setup as “state capitalism”, the idea being an intermediary stage for formerly-feudal societies before full socialism. 

As a libertarian socialist/Marxist, I don’t defend the actions taken in these countries, but it’s important to contextualize what was going on. The idea is that it’s near-impossible to just jump from feudalism to socialism – a period of capitalist development/accumulation and liberal institutions makes the jump more viable. As far as I’m concerned, this could have been accomplished through mutualism or market socialism, combining the liberalism of markets with the democratic accountability of worker control (thus mitigating much of the poverty and violent consequences of class domination).

To quote Terry Eagleton:

“Marx himself never imagined that socialism could be achieved in impoverished conditions [i.e. Russia and China]. Such a project would require almost as bizarre a loop in time as inventing the Internet in the Middle Ages. Nor did any Marxist thinker until Stalin imagine that this was possible, including Lenin, Trotsky, and the rest of the Bolshevik leadership…

Building up an economy from very low levels is a back-breaking, dispiriting task. It is unlikely that men and women will freely submit to the hardships it involves. So unless this project is executed gradually, under democratic control and in accordance with socialist values, an authoritarian state may step in and force its citizens to do what they are reluctant to undertake voluntarily. The militarization of labor in Bolshevik Russia is a case in point. The result, in a grisly irony, will be to undermine the political superstructure of socialism (popular democracy, genuine self-government) in the very attempt to build up its economic base…

As Marx insists, socialism also requires a shortening of the working day – partly to provide men and women with the leisure for personal fulfillment, partly to create time for the business of political and economic self-government. You can not do this if people have no shoes; and to distribute shoes among millions of citizens is likely to require a centralized bureaucratic state. If your nation is under invasion from an array of hostile capitalist powers, as Russia was in the wake of the Bolshevik revolution, an autocratic state will seem all the more inevitable…

To go socialist, then, you need to be reasonably well-heeled, in both the literal and the metaphorical senses of the term. No Marxist from Marx and Engels to Lenin and Trotsky ever dreamt of anything else. Or if you are not well-heeled yourself, then a sympathetic neighbor reasonably flush in material resources needs to spring to your aid. In the case of the Bolsheviks, this would have meant such neighbors (Germany in particular) having their own revolutions, too. If the working class of these countries could overthrow their own capitalist masters and lay hands on their productive powers, they could use those resources to save the first workers’ state in history from sinking without a trace. This was not as improbable a proposal as it might sound. Europe at the time was aflame with revolutionary hopes, as councils of workers’ and soldiers’ deputies (or soviets) sprang up in cities such as Berlin, Warsaw, Vienna, Munich, and Riga. Once these insurrections were defeated, Lenin and Trotsky knew their own revolution was in dire straights.

It is not that the building of socialism cannot be begun in deprived conditions. It is rather that without material resources it will tend to twist into the monstrous caricature of socialism known as Stalinism. The Bolshevik revolution soon found itself besieged by imperial Western armies, as well as threatened by counterrevolution, urban famine, and a bloody civil war. It was marooned in an ocean of largely hostile peasants reluctant to hand over their hard-earned surplus at gunpoint to the starving towns. With a narrow capitalist base, disastrously low levels of material production, scant traces of civil institutions, a decimated, exhausted working class, peasant revolts, and a swollen bureaucracy to rival the Tsar’s, the revolution was in deep trouble almost from the outset…

Imagine a slightly crazed capitalist outfit that tried to turn a pre-modern tribe into a set of ruthlessly acquisitive, technologically sophisticated entrepreneurs speaking the jargon of public relations and free market economics, all in a surreally short period of time. Does the fact that the experiment would almost certainly prove less than dramatically successful constitute a fair condemnation of capitalism? Surely not. To think so would be as absurd as claiming that the Girl Guides should be disbanded because they cannot solve certain tricky problems in quantum physics. Marxists do not believe that the mighty liberal lineage from Thomas Jefferson to John Stuart Mill is annulled by the existence of secret CIA-run prisons for torturing Muslims, even though such prisons are part of the politics of today’s liberal societies. Yet the critics of Marxism are rarely willing to concede that show trials and mass terror are no refutation of it.” 

TL;DR:

1) You can’t just expect socialism to quickly arise in materially- and socially-isolated countries in the throngs of feudalism (Russia and China). A material base of industrialization and a social base of liberalism are generally understood to be useful/basically-necessary prerequisites to build from. If other capitalist countries had undergone socialist revolution and provided aid to the struggling formerly-feudal state capitalist countries, they probably wouldn’t have congealed into top-down bureaucracies. A domino effect of worker revolutions across capitalist countries is considered necessary for socialism to fully take hold, just as a domino effect of bourgeois revolutions across feudal countries was needed for capitalism to fully take hold.

2) The violent primitive accumulation of early capitalism and the concentrated industrialization of state capitalist Russia and China served similar analogous functions in the broader context of historical materialism. Private capitalism for the enrichment of individual capitalists over the centuries, state capitalism supposedly for the enrichment of society’s material base and an eventual transition to full socialism. 

3) Capitalist societies have unleashed violent imperialism, mass enslavement, systemic poverty, and police states. If we’re going to bring up the disasters of isolated countries that set their aims at socialism, then we need to bring up the centuries-long disasters of not-isolated capitalist countries that have actively oppressed domestic and foreign populations of people. 

4) We live in an era of material abundance aided by advanced technology and automation; any attempt at socialism in late-capitalist countries would be significantly easier than what Russia and China experienced. As such, these industrialized late-capitalist countries need to undergo social revolution and provide aid to each other and to struggling countries that would have otherwise been state capitalist. 

(This answer has mainly been for the benefit of people already at least relatively sympathetic to anti-capitalism; I realize it is unlikely to sway someone so entrenched in capitalist ideology that they have no clue what socialist movements have entailed and strove for. If your analysis stops at “Russia and China were bad and that’s what socialism means and therefore it’s not worth fighting for”, then I don’t know what to tell ya. If your analysis stops at “capitalism preaches liberal individual freedom so therefore it is good”, then I don’t know what to tell ya. Dig past the ideology you’ve been spoon-fed by capitalist media and the state since childhood and recognize that you’ve been conned, all for the enrichment of the bosses and the bureaucrats.)

-Daividh

so much soviet jewish history has been ignored, mostly because it’s overshadowed by the tragic fate most faced in the shoah or the postwar era, but omg people should know about them!!!! did you know the soviets allotted 840,000 hectares of land in crimea and ukraine for jewish settling, compared to the 130,000 hectares of land jews owned in palestine in may 1948 when israel was declared a state? did you know soviet jews were at the forefront of yiddish literature and theatre? what about david bergelson, itzik feffer, peretz markish and david hofshteyn, easily some of the most innovative jewish artists in history? did you know some of the leading yiddish linguists in the world were in soviet state-run organizations and produced really amazing orthographical studies and reformed it in a way that made it much more easily understood and, before things took a turn for the worse, were working on transitioning the language to the latin alphabet? what about that there were similar projects, although smaller, for judeo-tat (spoken by mountain jews), judeo-tajik (spoken by bukharan jews), and judeo-georgian (spoken by georgian jews)? those are just a few of the truly incredible things about soviet jewry, they were much more than victims and trapped dissidents and jews who couldn’t follow halakha

flickr

Sovnarkom | Совнарком, 1918 by Olga
Via Flickr:
Highest State power of the Russian Soviet Republic, 1918 Council of People’s Commissars - Sovnarkom Высшая власть Российской Советской республики Совет народных комиссаров - Совнарком, 1918

Can we please stop calling Chechnya the first concentration camp since Hitler’s. North Korea has them and the Soviet Union had them. Also Che and Castro murdered gays too. Not sure if we can classify them as concentration camps but the millions of people who died under Maoism in work camps in Cambodia, China and other areas are worth mentioning too. Do not erase the suffering of millions for your shocking headline.

The social and political visage of anarchism is a free, anti-authoritarian society, one that enshrines freedom, equality and solidarity between all its members
—  Nestor Makhno

In the Soviet Union and the United States, the children of Jewish immigrants were going to school at about the same time and with the same degree of eagerness and excellence. In both places, the dramatic expansion of the educational systems coincided with the Jewish influx and helped accommodate it. And in both places, there arose—eventually—“the Jewish problem” of excessive success. In the Soviet Union, the state responded by expanding enrollments and intensifying affirmative action programs for “workers and peasants” and titular ethnics. As Larin put it, not without some defensiveness, “we cannot do what the tsarist government used to do: pass a law mandating that Jewish workers be accepted by workers’ preparatory departments at a lower percentage rate than the Russian workers, or that Jewish intellectuals and artisans be enrolled in colleges in smaller proportions, relative to their total population, than their Russian counterparts.” In the United States, most top colleges could not do what the tsarist government used to do, either, but they could—and did—use indirect methods, such as regional quotas or “character” tests, to combat the “Jewish invasion.”

The most notable thing about Jewish students in the Soviet Union and Jewish students in the United States was the fact that whereas Soviet colleges produced Communists, the American colleges also produced Communists.

Yuri Slezkine, The Jewish Century

Özel mülkiyet ve sermaye,insanları kaçınılmaz olarak nasıl birbirinden ayırır,milli ikilikler yaratır ve milli baskıyı ağırlaştırırsa;ortak mülkiyet ve ortak çalışma da aynı şekilde insanları kaçınılmaz olarak birbirine yaklaştırır,milli ikilik nedenlerini ortadan kaldırır ve milli baskıyı yeryüzünden siler.Kapitalizm milli baskı olmadan nasıl yaşayamazsa;sosyalizm de ezilen milletler kurtulmadan,milli özgürlük olmadan yaşayamaz.

Josef Stalin (Iosıf Visavironoviç Duzhugashvili)

Görsel : Henri Cartier-Bresson -  Soviet Unıon. Moscow. 1954. Lenin State Library. Inside one of the reading rooms. ( Magnum Photos)

Visual modification training guys! These are vehicles or weapons of one faction/side, designed to look like the hostile’s weapons, for training purposes.

Above, we have a Bradley or perhaps a M113 vis modded into being a BMP-2.

Here, we have a Humvee vis modded into being a BRDM-2.

Here, we have something soviet, probably a big T-72 or T-55 vis modded into pretending to be a Leopard-2. Well done, Commies! (srsly, this is pretty close!).

And here, we have something soviet vis modded into being a Leopard-1. This is really well done!

Here, we have a M109 Paladin Artillery piece, visually modified to look like a Shilka, Self Propelled Anti-Air piece.

Here, we have a pretty convincing looking M1A2 Abrams, disguising itself as a Soviet T-80 or T-90. Spooky!

Ahh, a Soviet T-64 in it’s natural habitat…Wait. That’s a poorly disguised Sheridan light tank! Good try yanks!

Finally, we have an M1A1 Abrams….Except those are Soviet Crew men? Oh how clever, its yet another visual modification. The Soviets appear to have taken a T-72, and modified the shit out of it. I like the attention to detail, with the little English “US ARMY” on the side. Except I’m fairly sure that the stars were turned from white to black, for camouflage purposes, in the late 1950′s. Well done though, all contestants!