rfrantz at u.washington.edu
Thu Apr 13 17:41:52 MDT 1995
Scott Marshall's reply to me concerning Gorbachev was certainly defiant,
as I expected, but only supported my theses---Those who support Soviet-style
communism, like today's CPUSA, are LOSERS and they have the mentality of
LOSERS. Losers always blame their failures on others, never take stock of
what they did wrong. It's dogmatic religion, with a faith so strong that
only earthquakes can shake it--the CPUSA did lose significant membership
after these quakes--Stalin's pact of betrayal with Hitler, the denunciation
of the Stalin cult at the 20th party (CPSU) Congress, the invasion of
Czechoslovakia and lastly the fall of the Soviet Union itself, which
brought in its wake another large split and the formation of Committees
of Correspondence. Those who remain in the CPUSA are more sure than ever
that their path was a correct path, only betrayed by nefarious characters
like Gorbachev. The leaders are always to be blamed and punished (in the
past) for betraying "socialism"--Stalin spent an entire career murdering
leading members of the Bolshevik party. But, of course, to the loyal
communist, the basic idea is sound. I can't count how many times when
talking to devout Christians I've mentioned all the crimes committed in
Jesus's name, but the answer is "But that wasn't Christianity?" The
loyal communist is the same type of true believer. Nothing can shake
his/her faith. When the system fails, blame those who put it into practice.
Never question the system itself.
Now to more practical questions. Please read my in-between the lines
On Wed, 12 Apr 1995, Scott Marshall wrote:
> Bob Frantz said:
> >I myself find it difficult to see why so much blame is laid at Gorbachev's
> >feet. The Soviet command economy was simply unable to produce and distribute
> >on any level comparable with the "bourgeois democracies."
> What nonsense. Some may accept this on face value but it just isn't true.
> Where did Sputnik come from and how was this supposed backward economy able
> to keep up militarily with the most powerful military machine in history?
> And why do the CIA now admit that thier figures on the Soviet economy were
Sputnik and the military machine. Yes, they are impressive. Still, is
this what communism is about? What I'd like to know is why the world
wasn't buying Soviet cars, trucks, refrigerators, washing-machines,
radios, TVs, computers, toasters, need I go on. The Soviet Union simply
could not produce consumer goods cheap enough and of high-enough quality
to compete on the world market. And please don't cry about capitalist
boycotts because if the innovation, quality and price were their they
would have beat down the doors of world trade. Don't blame capitalism for
throwing curve-balls and sliders at you. It's a competitive game and on the
consumer level, what the worker can buy, the Soviet Union failed.
All the blame and excuses, won't change the facts. They lost. Wake up and
deal with it, plan a new strategy, with new innovative ideas. Stop whining!
> Gorbachev didn't
> >cause this. The decisions that made a wreck of Soviet society go all the
> >way back to the beginning, but mostly, of course to, Stalin, the leader for
> >30 years.
> More pap. What discissions? What policies etc. A big topic no doubt but I
> get tired of these sweeping statments based on sand.
What decisions? What policies? I won't write a book here, but how about
the collectivisation of agriculture (the "war against the Kulaks"),
the absoption of the trade unions into the state structure, the banning
of all opposition parties, the purges and wanton murder of the 1930s,
the pact with Hitler, a betrayal beyond belief. I'll stop. I could name more
policies and decisions and I will next time.
> Gorbachev is blamed, of course, by communists, because they
> >simply are unwilling or incapable to look themselves in the mirror
> >and realize. "My God, what have we done!" Gorbachev and Yeltsin may have
> >been the funeral directors, but Soviet "socialism" had been on life
> >support a long, long time before he came to power. From Lenin on, the
> >Bolsheviks never had the need to test their popularity among the working
> >people and peasants of the Soviet Union.
> Isn't it amazing how a country grew and defeated Nazi aggression without
> popular support - that Stalin was indded a miricle worker!
So the military victory against Hitler is proof of Stalin's or the
CPSU's popularity! Get real! Just because the Soviet people drove
the Nazi invaders from their homeland, doesn't mean the people loved
Stalin and his henchmen. I'll say this much however. Had not Stalin
appeased Hitler between 8/39 and 6/4l, had he prepared his country for
the fight ahead, as well as the International Communist movement,
many, many lives would have been saved. The early victories of the Nazis
in the USSR can be greatly attributed to Stalin's lack of preparation.
The Hitler-Stalin pact was a betrayal beyond imagination. Just ask the
German communists who Stalin dutifully handed back over to Hitler during
> Lastly I always really like the "command economy" arguement - gee isn't
> capitalism about as "command" as you can get - it always is where I've
> worked. Or do you buy "free markets, free labor" etc.
Ther is quite a difference between a company or corporation carrying out its
"command," its production plans within its sphere (even though that may
be large) and the organization of an entire national economy through a
centralized plan. Quite a difference. And the Soviet central planning
system did not cut it. It did not provide anywhere near the material
privisions that the capitalist market did. That doesn't prove capitalism
right, but it does show that there are many lessons for Marxists to learn,
so as to foster both material wealth and social welfare.
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