Did Stalin want to achieve 'communism'?

Discussion in 'theory, philosophy & history' started by mk12, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. mk12

    mk12 Well-Known Member

    Yes, he helped to put a break on certain revolutionary situations as it would have damaged Soviet relations with foreign powers. Yes, he was a tyrant who believed "socialism" was merely a centrally planned statified economy. Yes, his policies were detrimental to the advance of 'genuine socialism/communism' or whatever you want to call it.

    But do you think he genuinely believed that his way of doing things would eventually lead to a communist society? Or was this never desirable for him?
  2. ernestolynch

    ernestolynch Banned Banned

    Google Grover Furr's essays on the moves Stalin was making towards the democraticisation of the Soviet Union.
  3. ernestolynch

    ernestolynch Banned Banned

    Also read articles in the Northstar Compass and Lalkar.
  4. ernestolynch

    ernestolynch Banned Banned

    Google Mario Sousa's work on Stalin.

    And the work of Ludo Martens.

    And Michael Parenti.

    Don't bother asking questions here to people brainwashed by BBC-CIA-MI6 spooks.
    mrs quoad likes this.
  5. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    Nothing like a pre-emptive ad hominem revealing paranoid tendencies ... curiously appropriate for the topic.
  6. JHE

    JHE .

    The official Soviet ideology was that the Soviet Union - and the world - was progressing towards communism. Stalin decided what the official ideology was (and wrote a chunk of the "Short Course"), so your question could be asked in another form: Did Stalin believe the ideas that he and his followers strenuously promoted in the Soviet Union and around the world?

    My guess is that he did. His beliefs obviously included a belief in his own crucial role and the justified and progressive nature of all his policies, including all his terrifying repression.
  7. mk12

    mk12 Well-Known Member

    I haven't read that, but have read an article (by J. Arch Getty if I remember correctly) about the nationwide discussion prior to the adoption of the 1936 constitution, and the plans for contested Party elections in that year.

    JHE: Hmmm. By communism I meant the classless, stateless society. Yet rather than the state withering away, it could be argued that Stalin kept making it stronger. Do you think he imagined the state would wither away in the near future?
  8. JHE

    JHE .

    Yes, I'm well aware of how the term 'communism' is used by communists, including those who used to rule the Soviet Union. Stalinist ideology did not abandon the notion of the withering away of the state. But obviously that would only happen when conditions were ripe. Those conditions would include abundance and the defeat of class enemies etc.

    "Near future"? How near is near? Obviously, Stalin was not about to dismantle the Soviet state. It was very premature. That doesn't mean that he disbelieved in the official ideology.
  9. ernestolynch

    ernestolynch Banned Banned

    It had too be strong before it
    Could develop. Industrialise, overtake the capitalist enemy first, get strong, ready to defend socialist progress, electrify, dig deep, till the land, educate, raise literacy, build egalitarian technical colleges, encourage science, engineering, sport, culture, the arts...

    Destroy all obstacles, from greedy landowners to meddling trots and western saboteurs, smash all spies and traitors...

    Then the fascist invasion. Fight with tooth and nail to defend the motherland and socialism!
    mrs quoad likes this.
  10. Zhelezniakov

    Zhelezniakov Well-Known Member

    Get back in the dustbin of history :mad:
  11. ernestolynch

    ernestolynch Banned Banned


    It's filled with trots!
    Kaka Tim and Pickman's model like this.
  12. gorski

    gorski customised free radical

    Stalin gave up any such "idea[l]s" and fairly fast realised he can not change reality [all that quickly]. Instead, what he could do was to change the perception of reality. Hence, for instance, a 5-year "plan" which actually changed very little realiter, except the terminology. What we got was loads of nonsense about different stages of "achievement", i.e. "how far we have come" etc. All of us in the "East of European Eden" knew how that worked: every so often one needed to learn a few new phrases, according to what the Central Committee announced on the latest big bang gathering, if one "wanted to get on in life and/or politics"...

    And Stalin was a master of "perception wars" and political strategy [regardless of the price to be paid, for whatever he wanted to "achieve" in the greater scheme of things, on a large scale], for sure. Heh, "Bolsheviks" [Majority], as opposed to Mensheviks [Minority], were actually a minority but they were "well placed". Moreover, he pronounced every politics to be nothing more than cadre-politics. You could only be "his" [wo]man - or else...

    Some say he must be understood from the perspective of his church education and backwards Russian civilisational and cultural background, whereby he was trained to think in "authoritarian" thinking, both by the church and the state "tradition". Only because he was one with his surroundings, only because he both understood and felt it "correctly", was he able to establish himself and his personal "fiefdom". But let us not forget: Hitler had to kill considerably less people, in an allegedly very civilised Germany af the time, in order to gain the same kind of control/level of power...

    There are those who would agree with a certain "glorious assessment" of him, that "he took feudal Russia into the World Power League in no time"... But the question of price and ultimately self-destructive nature of such "achievements" is always there for all to ponder and be haunted by it... Moreover, the Q of HIS power, rather than the success of Revolution is also there... I.e. the repressive state apparatus, for instance, was strengthened, as opposed to the proclaimed goals, with some crude but effective "artistry" on the dialectical trapeze... There were no attempts of any kind at imaginative, new societal or political experimentation, no ideas of self-management, for instance, NOTHING MEANINGFUL was undertaken to at least try to get away from totalitarian horrors!!!

    For crying out loud, imagine a purge in which one either physically destroys or orders all who spoke languages [or had ties with "the West"] to join the "great migration of people towards building a Socialist Siberia"... For instance. How is that strengthening anything?!? Stalin's critics state that he won the war IN SPITE of his cruelty and incompetency, to the great detriment of all around him, the SSSR and the Socialist movement in general. Hell, even the members of his cabinet were shitting themselves because they knew they might not be coming back to the cabinet meetings tomorrow... The question of societal, cultural and civilisational grounds on which this was possible, of course, remains a very unpalatable one to chew over to this day...

    Some Soviet sociologists have shown how "social peace" was not only enforced [although Stalin did do it for quite a while, as it is not cheap and efficient to put an armed soldier to every few workers, is it?] but also bought by certain level of egalitarianism, keeping those at the bottom of the pile quiet, thereby "preventing any ideas coming from the middle classes, which could have pushed the whole thing forward"...

    Rhetoric was one thing [egalitarianism] but practice spoke for itself. For instance, when "egalitarian measures" in education were brought in you could quickly see which schools were "special" by the surnames of pupils in them... So, privileges were even more "tightened", rather than abolished!

    Eventually it boiled down to two things:

    1) there was nothing in the shops

    2) the amount of fear that permeated every pore of society, pointing to the amount of force needed to back the regime up.

    These obvious and ever growing discrepancies between the proclaimed goals and objectives couldn't be "glossed over" any longer. At the deepest end of it all, it seems to me, the very foundations of the system are at fault. Once a society is built on an inordinate amount of force, sheer violence and repression - there is no way out... We saw most of the really important things being turned into their opposite or at least dragged forcefully very, very far away from the alleged goals of emancipation of Mankind! There is no way in Hell anyone with conscience or even minimal intelligence can possibly justify or merely "understand as necessary" all that "dialectical trapeze artistry"...

    FFS, it fell apart... And good riddance: it had nothing much in common with equa-liberty... Ideas of social justice, equal chances in life, real freedom to growth and learning, being free from oppression [of the state] and dumbing down while slaving endlessly... Oh, well...

    However, this has to be said: its demise has no bearing whatsoever on the starting idea!!!

    Us, who knew personally, on our very own skin, with our very lives, just how "innocent" of Marx [and the best traditions he grew up on, the traditions he inherited from the best of Humanity] were its main actors - we can not be fooled by these idiotic "accusations" and "direct connections" between "sur-real socialism" and original ideas it came from, which will not die and wither away for as long as Humans are Humans and exploitation and domination are weighing us down...
    Lupa and UnderAnOpenSky like this.
  13. jcsd

    jcsd one careful pwner

    Isn't Stalinism like Nazism a Utopian philosophy? The idea is that by doing all the nasty things now you're paving the way for a future utopian soceity.
  14. gorski

    gorski customised free radical

    Stalinism by definition is anti-utopian!

    So is Nazism!
    Lupa likes this.
  15. Captain Hurrah

    Captain Hurrah STALINIST Banned

    This, and with the Soviet state from Lenin through to Stalin, the Bolsheviks' voluntarism sought a path to socialism, and out of necessity adapted the schema to explain some materially determined stages logically passing by way of revolutions from one to the next, with ‘communism’ as the culmination. But revolutions of this sort, where they occurred, had never taken place after the final phase of capitalism so the requisite concentration of productive forces had to be achieved under revolutionary control, with supposedly careful attention given to its direction within a national framework. If that's what building socialism meant for Stalinists, along with it there was a continual postponement or lack of definition of the 'withering away' of the state.
  16. jcsd

    jcsd one careful pwner

    Why? Utopian philosophies believe that some sort of utopian ideal is acheivable and whilst it may be questionable whetehr the utopia they wish to achieve is actually acheivable or a utopia in most people's eyes, both Nazism and Stalinism had some sort of ideal that they wished to acheive.
  17. XerxesVargas

    XerxesVargas formerly MrMalcontent

    To me this goes back to the basics as evinced by Marx that Russia was not industrially advanced enough for the revolution in the first place. Hence why early Bolshevism and Leninism had to weld the Hegelian notion of the the "spark" to get a form of bastardised communism they could apply to their circumstance.

    Therefore, when Stalin came to power, and during his reign, there was no communism to aim towards. You can't get there from here. Collectivist authoritarianism maybe but not communism.
  18. ernestolynch

    ernestolynch Banned Banned

    Trot windbags
  19. gorski

    gorski customised free radical

    Holding on to power at all cost does not in any way imply any utopian intention...
    Lupa likes this.
  20. Ibn Khaldoun

    Ibn Khaldoun the present is dead, long live the future . . .

    The culmination of the old not the beginning of the new, as CLR James said. He was a proponent of state-capitalist theory. However I believe the Soviet mode of production can be properly related to its Asiatic antecedent, as well to its capitalist forms which contained the trajectory of development.
  21. geminisnake

    geminisnake a complex mass of conflicting ideas

    Not at all. It's a long time since I studied Russian history but imo Stalin was a dictator and an egotistical maniac.
    History may have changed somewhat since the curtain came down though.
    Lupa likes this.
  22. ernestolynch

    ernestolynch Banned Banned

    'at all costs' - you Trots would allow your Fascist friends to roll their Panzers all the way to Vladivostok...filthy trockist saboteurs!!
  23. jcsd

    jcsd one careful pwner

    Holding onto power at all costs is seen as necessary to acheiving the utopian ideal, how can you implement your plan otherwise? The idea is that the end justifies the means, you can commit unpseakable horrors because when utopia is acheieved it will be worth it.

    Whether Stalin was truly a utopian idelaist or just a gangster is another thing.
  24. gorski

    gorski customised free radical

    Nope, none of it is the case, jcsd...

    Justification is a moral category. He had nothing to do with any of that... It was "necessary" to him...

    But the point is: he had no utopian ideas or ideals, none of it! All he wanted was absolute power. Totalitarian society with himself at the top. There is plenty of evidence for that. There is no evidence, as I wrote above, for the "he was waiting for the right moment to do the right thing" argument or "he was a real Utopian doing whatever he could to move in the right direction" argument - none of that can be seen anywhere, to the best of my knowledge. Where did you see any of that?
    Lupa likes this.
  25. gorski

    gorski customised free radical

    Nonsense!!! This had nothing to do with Capitalism whatsoever!!! Production of surplus-power was the core of sur-real socialism, nothing to do with surplus-value, which is at the core of Capitalist production!

    Again, nonsense! Feudalism essentially differs from "sur-real socialism", as power comes from land-ownership, whereas in sur-real socialism with power cometh property etc..
  26. ernestolynch

    ernestolynch Banned Banned

    Fuck me, you need an icepick in your skull.

  27. mk12

    mk12 Well-Known Member

    Where is evidence that "he had no utopian ideas or ideals, none of it! All he wanted was absolute power." How can anyone even prove that?

    Was every policy shift introduced simply to strengthen his own position?
  28. ernestolynch

    ernestolynch Banned Banned

    It's just Trot mantra.
  29. Ibn Khaldoun

    Ibn Khaldoun the present is dead, long live the future . . .

    Nothing - nothing whatsoever?

    I resist to specify USSR as state-capitalism, yet how could what did exist not be understood in relation to capitalist development?

    ...Likewise, to what had also preceded it - what can be characterised Asiatic, as opposed to Feudal, brought forth into the bourgeois epoch, but subjugated by the international law of value. Eventually, resolving to its final destination... It was a transitional form.

    Stalinism was a reactionary phenomenon after which pre-capitalist Russia had laid the entire grounds of transition to capitalism proper.
  30. Ibn Khaldoun

    Ibn Khaldoun the present is dead, long live the future . . .

    AND, for all that, it is not for one to simply point out: when social and political alienation are achieved through the state - by the state, FOR the state - that the conditions of social and political life as they are foremost borne out express the contradictions of all social activity in totality and therefore bear forth a political character (inherently so).

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