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Bolshevism as such

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Bolshevism as such
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Doc.User avatarPosts: 642Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:14 pm

Post Bolshevism as such

The thing that has been bugging me for a while has been a simultaneous use of variations of "Nazi" and "Hitler" as metaphors for the worst thing/person imaginable and total ignorance, disinterest or even idealization of communist Bolshevism. Even here, in this very community there was this guy with communist symbolism and a communist-themed name. Haven't seen anyone calling him out on it, while if a fan of the Third Reich would happen to show up, everyone would lose their shit and the hypothetical Nazi, in all probability would get banned very quickly. Communist symbolism provokes no real negative reaction beyond "that's weird stuff". Tourists buy soviet souvenirs with same symbolism on them and decorate their walls with it, I've personally witnessed this all the way from the purchase to the decorating of a room in Washington DC. Times magazine had both Stalin and Hitler (and Putin, ha!) as their person of the year, in a recently uploaded short video where they quickly go through all the faces they've put on their front page, they did not Include Hitler, but did not cut out Stalin. The reason for that, among other things, is that you and me are all victims of a successful soviet and later Russian propaganda.

I'm not going to discuss why one side got to be the baddie metaphor and the other didn't. This thread is about what Bolshevism was, and I'll compare it to Nazism for clarity.

To start off, few years ago, In a conversation I once told my mother that the communists were just as bad as the Nazis, she replied with a phrase that essentially translates into "at least they didn't do experiments on people." This is the image that pops up in everyone's head, and is my first point:

1. They did, and kept doing it after the war. They were not any more humane about it.

But Bolsheviks didn't gas people, did they? Wrong again, in fact, guess who came up with the method in the first place?

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_van Side note: if you switch to the Russian page (and happen to speak Russian) you will find no mention of who invented and started using this first, it was all sadist Germans.

But... the Nazis killed 6 million jews!

3. And the Bolsheviks starved to death 7 million Ukranians.

Also Stalin rounded up the Jews who fled from the SS and sent them back. I don't necessarily think that a crime becomes less of a crime if the victims are not united under a single ethnic group, but if you want to go down that road - there is an Ukrainian genocide right there. And the places of starved to death Ukrainians were taken by forcefully brought in ethnic Russians, a factor successfully utilized in Russian invasion of Ukraine today. Also mass deportation of a dozen smaller (entire!) nations is worth mentioning, in conditions no better than those described in "Schindler's list".

But Hitler was the aggressor, he invaded Austria and Czechoslovakia, and everything else!

4. And Stalin invaded Finland, baltic states, Poland. Under different leadership Soviet Union invaded a number of other countries, long before the Nazis existed.

This is common knowledge at this point, but the Third Reich and the Soviet Union worked together for a while. It was not just an agreement not to attack, but an exchange of resources and intelligence. -

5. - Including training of Gestapo by the NKVD (KGB) in setting up concentration camps.


Nazis were murdering innocents everywhere!

6. And so were Bolsheviks, in much greater numbers. Quotas of people to kill, all ages and social classes, often randomly picked on the streets. People in charge filling the quotas and asking for more.

7. Let me throw in gang rapes of 2 million German women in there if you're not convinced yet.


You know what? The Germans renounced that part of their horrific past. Nazi symbolism is banned in Germany, and the country is now a democratic state. While in Russia various war criminals are called heroes, given medals and paid pensions for what they did. Russian national anthem has an almost identical text and rhythm as its soviet predecessor, communist symbolism is everywhere and Putin calls fall of the Soviet Union "The greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century" while invading other countries as his primary occupation, I might add. You can look up a documentary "The Soviet Story" to get more detail, if you so desire, I recommend you do so.

That's all I wanted to say, I guess I needed a vent. Do forgive me if I skipped some typos or made grammatical errors.
Last edited by Doc. on Wed May 13, 2015 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Tue May 12, 2015 9:29 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 2745Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: Bolshevism as such

Greetings,

Doc wrote:That's all I wanted to say, I guess I needed a vent. Do forgive me if I skipped some typos or made grammatical errors.

The last thing you need is a grammar-Nazi! ;)

Kindest regards,

James
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"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Tue May 12, 2015 11:47 pm
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2184Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Bolshevism as such

The thing that concerns me is that you seem to be conflating Stalinism with Communism. While Communism is open to many valid criticisms, that isn't one of them. Stalin wasn't a Communist.

The real problem with Communism, aside from it being a doctrine, which immediately disqualifies it from being treated as a good idea, is that it can only work if the entire system is communist, and people are much too fucking stupid to be that unified.

If the human race lives long enough, something very like communism is inevitable, IMHO.
Wed May 13, 2015 8:25 am
Doc.User avatarPosts: 642Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:14 pm

Post Re: Bolshevism as such

hackenslash wrote:The thing that concerns me is that you seem to be conflating Stalinism with Communism. While Communism is open to many valid criticisms, that isn't one of them. Stalin wasn't a Communist.

The real problem with Communism, aside from it being a doctrine, which immediately disqualifies it from being treated as a good idea, is that it can only work if the entire system is communist, and people are much too fucking stupid to be that unified.

If the human race lives long enough, something very like communism is inevitable, IMHO.


I'm calling it Bolshevism. You can refer to it as Stalinism, if you prefer. I don't, because it's not limited to Stalin.

Communism as an ideology in general is not what the thread is about, although I'm not very fond of that either, if you care to know.
Wed May 13, 2015 9:52 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2184Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Bolshevism as such

He wasn't a Bolshevik either. I do find it interesting that you so vehemently dislike something you seem to know little about...
Wed May 13, 2015 10:22 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2184Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Bolshevism as such

Meant to add that there's a pretty good book on my shelf by a well-regarded British historian name of Richard Overy called The Dictators: Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia, which is a comparative between Hitler and Stalin in ideological and situational terms. An extremely well-thought-of book, it won the Wolfson prize in and the Hessell-Tiltman prize in 2005.

Recommended.
Wed May 13, 2015 1:36 pm
surreptitious57Posts: 208Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:09 am Gender: Male

Post Re: Bolshevism as such

Alan Bullock has written one as well and his Hitler : A Study In Tyranny was regarded
as the definitive version when it came out. I have not read either but I have read Hitler
by Ian Kershaw and totally recommend it. I have never heard of Richard Overy before

A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
Wed May 13, 2015 2:15 pm
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3123Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: Bolshevism as such

I want to say that the reason I think Stalin and his communist regime gets a pass is that they were apart of the Allies during World War II. Sure, there was a Cold War that started after that, but the Cold War was nothing like World War II. Just my two cents, because I am with you in that Stalin and his regime were terrible (I might go as far as to say worth than Hitler and his regime).
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Wed May 13, 2015 11:26 pm
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hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2184Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: Bolshevism as such

he_who_is_nobody wrote:I am with you in that Stalin and his regime were terrible (I might go as far as to say worth than Hitler and his regime).


Agreed. Where I disagree is in tarring communism with the same brush. The nearest thing to communism proper that'[s been attempted is one of those things that Americans seem not to want to talk about, not least because it resulted in one of the highest rates of citizen satisfaction in the modern world.

I'm not a communist, but I recognise that throwing the baby out with the bathwater is never a good idea.

It's worth reading what the like of Orwell and Russell had to say about this. Not saying they're right, but it's worth understanding their POVs.
Thu May 14, 2015 2:13 am
PABUser avatarPosts: 382Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:34 pmLocation: UK Gender: Male

Post Re: Bolshevism as such

What's up Doc!

I think you know what's wrong with your argumentation if your honest with yourself.
As has already been said " throwing the baby out with the bath water " is a good summary, but let me put it to you from the perspective of a communist.

First understand that communism is a broad " church". Many know this but unless your involved in that church and have experience you may not comprehend the magnitude. I would claim there as much differences within the communist political grouping as there are languages, ethnicities and religions in general. So when i say i have little problem with Stalin being equated to Hitler as genocidal , evil and so on. There are communists, of course, who would defend Stalin.

The main difference between Communism and Nazism is this. Nazism was fascism+extreme anti-Semitism, even if we subtract the racism were are still left with the bile of fascism.
Communism is different in that it is a liberalization ideology, The Russian revolution and Bolshevism is in my opinion comparable to the French revolution and the terror. Just as the French revolution began to eat it self , the Russian revolution devoured and mangled itself.

Communism is still a liberation ideology, which is opposed to exploitation, which is why it still has great currency and support today. With increased awareness of worker exploitation , crises of capitalism, imperialistic wars. etc. Not to mention the fact that marxism has been incorporated into many university courses in different ways and to different degrees since they are some of the most important ideas in humanities history although a little politically volatile,

The hammer and sickle is not just the symbol of the soviet union, but is an international sign for communism. I've talked to Indonesian communists who live in the shadow of massacres when 500,000 communists and leftists were brutally killed. The hammer and sickle may represent that history for them.
There are many symbols and beliefs which we can draw comparisons with, The USA was founded in blood and genocide, it committed war crimes by dropping the H bomb, it participated in illegal wars... but is celebrating thanksgiving and raising the american flag condemnable. Of course not. Same can be said of the British, or almost any country or religion.

Victims of Stalin include communists.
The show trials, the purge, the assassinations. Some communists support this, some don't. Some condemn Stalin, some praise.
Many communists would call themselves Bolsheviks, and still condemn Stalin , because Bolshevism also encompasses all that was great about the Russian revolution.
"The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil...there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy." Albert Einstein
Thu Nov 26, 2015 12:12 pm
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