Author Topic: Was the USSR a living Hell?  (Read 23583 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline TimM

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1898
    • View Profile
    • Rex and Hannah Chronicles Wikia
Was the USSR a living Hell?
« on: December 06, 2015, 07:22:01 AM »
This really didn't have anything to do with Writing Alternate History, so I split it off into its own thread.  

One has to wonder if so many would have backed Lenin, if they had any idea of the abyss he would ultimately cast Russia into.  The regime he ushered in was many times worst that any Tsarist one.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 11:47:41 AM by TimM »
Cats: You just gotta love them!

Offline Превед

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1033
  • Мой Великий Север
    • View Profile
    • Type Russian Without a Keyboard
Commuism
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2015, 08:06:38 AM »
One has to wonder if so many would have backed Lenin, if they had any idea of the abyss he would ultimately cast Russia into.  The regime he ushered in was many times worst that any Tsarist one.

Tim, even if you have a Tourettes-ish need to regularly sound off against those evil Soviets, your un-balanced outbursts are not productive for budding young writers seeking inspiration.
Consider:

- Yes, the Soviet Union was a genocidal dictature, but
- Very few of NII's subjects actively backed Lenin as much as
- Violently opposed the bancrupt Tsarist regime
- Which already had led Russia into an abyss called WW1.

I can very much imagine it was like the Syrians today facing the choice between the dictator Assad and the fanatic Islamic State.
Берёзы севера мне милы,
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: Ивы и берёзы, 1843 / 1856)

Offline TimM

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1898
    • View Profile
    • Rex and Hannah Chronicles Wikia
Commuism
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2015, 06:16:15 AM »
As far as I know, I've broken no rules here.  As long as I continue to observe said rules, I'll say whatever I jolly well please, thank you very much. 

Your sarcastic comment of comparing me to those unfortunate to suffer from Tourette's syndrome was uncalled for, if fact it borders on a personal attack, something that is NOT allowed here.  In the future, I would suggest you refrain from such comments,  If you don't, I will delete the post in question.  Disagree with me all you want, but lose the sarcastic attitude, please.  Consider yourself warned. 

As far as those "evil Soviets" are concerned, I never said that.  Lenin and his cronies were evil yes, but I don't think the whole country was.  Most of the Russian people at that time did not know what was happening until it was much too late.  If anything, I feel sorry for those people.  The whole revolution was about trying to make thing better, not worse.
Cats: You just gotta love them!

Offline Kalafrana

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2929
    • View Profile
Commuism
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2015, 08:20:37 AM »
Speaking for myself, I have no problem with Tim's previous remark, or others he has made on the same lines.

I don't in fact notice them much, and would contrast my reaction with that to posts made by some others (who, thankfully, seem to have gone quiet recently), 'Oh no, can't X stop harping on about people's looks?'

Russia under Nicholas II was not a happy place for many of the population, but there was no Tsarist equivalent of the Great Purge.

Ann

Offline TimM

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1898
    • View Profile
    • Rex and Hannah Chronicles Wikia
Commuism
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2015, 06:18:46 AM »
Quote
Russia under Nicholas II was not a happy place for many of the population, but there was no Tsarist equivalent of the Great Purge.

Exactly.  Compared to the horror story called the Soviet Union, Tsarist Russia was the Garden of Eden, IMO. 
Cats: You just gotta love them!

Offline Превед

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1033
  • Мой Великий Север
    • View Profile
    • Type Russian Without a Keyboard
Commuism
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2015, 09:22:10 AM »
Quote
Russia under Nicholas II was not a happy place for many of the population, but there was no Tsarist equivalent of the Great Purge.

Exactly.  Compared to the horror story called the Soviet Union, Tsarist Russia was the Garden of Eden, IMO.  

Insofar as the Garden of Eden lacked free public education, free public healthcare and many other services for the masses. But hey, God still roamed the environs of Eden. Wasn't that roughly NII's attitude? What do people need all these fancy new amenities for, when they have God? Let other countries develop and prosper, you Russia, have God in your midst.
Берёзы севера мне милы,
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: Ивы и берёзы, 1843 / 1856)

Offline TimM

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1898
    • View Profile
    • Rex and Hannah Chronicles Wikia
Re: Commuism
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2015, 11:45:18 AM »
Quote
Insofar as the Garden of Eden lacked free public education, free public healthcare and many other services for the masses. But hey, God still roamed the environs of Eden. Wasn't that roughly NII's attitude? What do people need all these fancy new amenities for, when they have God? Let other countries develop and prosper, you Russia, have God in your midst.

I'm sorry, but to me it just doesn't balance out.  

Nothing was free in the USSR, it was paid for in the blood of millions who were sacrificed on the altar of Karl Marx's twisted ideology.   If Nicholas II was God, then Stalin was Satan and the USSR was Hell.  
Cats: You just gotta love them!

Offline Kalafrana

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2929
    • View Profile
Re: Was the USSR a living Hell?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2015, 12:24:01 PM »
Even without all the oppression under the Communists, the Soviet Union was a markedly unequal society. If you were regarded as a good Communist, you had access to a good education, good jobs, etc etc. If you weren't, your situation was in practical terms little different from being a have-not under the Tsar's.

Ann

Offline Превед

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1033
  • Мой Великий Север
    • View Profile
    • Type Russian Without a Keyboard
Re: Commuism
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2015, 12:24:25 PM »
Nothing was free in the USSR, it was paid for in the blood of millions who were sacrificed on the altar of Karl Marx's twisted ideology.

Now we agree! Nothing was done about anything in Tsarist Russia and that lethargy was both charming and lethal. Progress came at a brutal speed in the Soviet Union, paid for, as you so rightly say, by the blood of millions sacrificed in a genocidal fight against imaginary enemies.

« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 12:33:15 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: Ивы и берёзы, 1843 / 1856)

Offline Превед

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1033
  • Мой Великий Север
    • View Profile
    • Type Russian Without a Keyboard
Re: Was the USSR a living Hell?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2015, 12:31:08 PM »
Even without all the oppression under the Communists, the Soviet Union was a markedly unequal society. If you were regarded as a good Communist, you had access to a good education, good jobs, etc etc. If you weren't, your situation was in practical terms little different from being a have-not under the Tsar's.

Agreed concerning the Stalinist era, strongly disagreed concerning the post-Stalinist Soviet Union.

Берёзы севера мне милы,
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: Ивы и берёзы, 1843 / 1856)

Offline TimM

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1898
    • View Profile
    • Rex and Hannah Chronicles Wikia
Re: Was the USSR a living Hell?
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2015, 03:23:45 PM »
Communism no doubt looked good on paper.  A society where classes no longer exist and everyone is equal, I can see why so many fell for it.  

However, what Karl Marx failed to take onto account was human nature and that is why his ideas were doomed from the start.  You are always going to have power hungry maniacs out there, no matter what, and Communism was a perfect way for them to get into power.  They said that capitalism was evil, that the rich had everything and the poor had nothing.  Well, look at how the Communist bigwigs lived, in their nice big houses, driving fancy cars that they had shipped in from the West, a wazoo of servants.  Stick these guys in a castle, and they would be right at home.  They were the biggest hypocrites that ever walked this Earth.

Look at Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu of Romania, for example.  They were essentially an Emperor and Empress, and they even had an Heir Apparent, their oldest son, Nico, waiting in the wings to take over.  Of course, the 1989 revolution ended that, but you see what I mean.

And there is North Korea, which is now ruled by Kim Jong-Un, the third in the Kim Dynasty (Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il being his grandfather and father respectively).  A whole religion has practically been built around these guys.  From what I understand, the word "Communism" had now been deleted from the North Korean Constitution, so they're not even pretending anymore.  

In short, while Communist countries claimed to have ended class warfare, that was, like everything else about Communism, a lie.  The only thing that really changed were the names of those in charge.
Cats: You just gotta love them!

Offline Превед

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1033
  • Мой Великий Север
    • View Profile
    • Type Russian Without a Keyboard
Re: Was the USSR a living Hell?
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2015, 04:51:46 PM »
However, what Karl Marx failed to take onto account was human nature
True, Engels called Marx's theories "scientific Socialism", after all.

Quote
You are always going to have power hungry maniacs out there, no matter what, and Communism was a perfect way for them to get into power.  They said that capitalism was evil, that the rich had everything and the poor had nothing.  Well, look at how the Communist bigwigs lived, in their nice big houses, driving fancy cars that they had shipped in from the West, a wazoo of servants.  Stick these guys in a castle, and they would be right at home.  They were the biggest hypocrites that ever walked this Earth.

Hypocrites may be extremely irritating, but the real problem with Communism wasn't first and foremost the standard of living of the nomenklatura. Which was rather modest compared to most feudal and capitalist elites. The real luxury in Communist societies was freedom and even the nomenklatura did not enjoy the degree of freedom most people in Western societies had. The lack of freedom in the form of democracy and free elections, freedom of speech, fair trial and other civil liberties was one of the two real problems (the other being lack of incentives in a state-controlled economy), because it stiffled all critique, so that real problems seldom were adressed and never solved, mismanagement and injustices rarely exposed and incompetent, corrupt and criminal officeholders (like the Ceaușescus) not punished.

Quote
And there is North Korea, which is now ruled by Kim Jong-Un, the third in the Kim Dynasty (Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il being his grandfather and father respectively).  A whole religion has practically been built around these guys.  From what I understand, the word "Communism" had now been deleted from the North Korean Constitution, so they're not even pretending anymore.
Wow. Well, that's a good thing for the idealistic Communist cause, I suppose :-)

Quote
In short, while Communist countries claimed to have ended class warfare, that was, like everything else about Communism, a lie.  The only thing that really changed were the names of those in charge.
This is far too simplistic. The interesting question is: How much of the increase in living conditions in the Soviet Union as compared to Tsarist Russia can be attributed to Communist equalization / redistribution of wealth and how much was due to the general technological advance experienced by any society going through industrialisation?
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 05:03:41 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: Ивы и берёзы, 1843 / 1856)

Offline starik

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
Re: Was the USSR a living Hell?
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2015, 05:43:35 PM »
Perhaps a factor in the increase in the Soviet living standard can partially be explained by the ability of totalitarian governments to "make the trains run on time." Under Nicholas, the infrastructure was so riddled with inefficiency and corruption it was inadequate to meet the needs of the economy and under stress completely collapsed. The basic production and delivery of food and fuel is a case in point. The Soviets made strong compulsory efforts, but they too would fall prey to inevitable corruption and the decay that results from the lack of free incentive.

In wartime Nazi Germany, Albert Speer managed to actually increase production in spite of Allied bombing, but that was largely due to slave labor. Forcing people to work can accomplish wonders.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 05:48:08 PM by starik »

Offline Forum Admin

  • Administrator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 4658
  • www.alexanderpalace.org
    • View Profile
    • Alexander Palace Time Machine
Re: Was the USSR a living Hell?
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2015, 07:49:29 PM »
Not totally accurate.  The infrastructure, specifically the railroads were equally efficient as any other in Europe at the time.  The problem arrived only with the onset of the First World War.  The infrastructure was designed to service the main cities, Moscow, Petersburg, Kiev etc and not to service the needs of the military at the front.   It was this problem that created the problems of delivering fuel and food to the major cities.  Without World War I, the monarchy may well have continued for some more years.

Offline starik

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 14
    • View Profile
Re: Was the USSR a living Hell?
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2015, 10:24:23 PM »
"Trains run on time" was partly metaphoric for overall control of all aspects of the country, economic and social. Perhaps "efficiency" was too narrow and specific a word. "Sufficient" or "adequate" may have been better. Civilian use is simply rehearsal for military use. The First World War is what I meant by "stress." It didn't work then because it was never sufficient as defined by strength and resiliency. It's weakness and fatal flaw was revealed by war - not caused by it. Imperial war production could not match Stalin's war production, even after three years. Because of defect, whether that be, in part, inefficiency or additional causes. It takes the same infrastructure whether it's guns or butter. War or peace. Germany had much less problem delivering and maintaining a well equipped army to the east, because of infrastructure. And their efficiency.

As railroads go, European states had need of far less track to reach effectively all their land. You weren't as far from a railhead anywhere in Europe as in Russia. And if you can't service the whole country, you're inefficient - and/or insufficient. Doesn't really matter if they run on time - just that they do run. Incidentally, Germany, the leader of European railways, designed their railroads specifically for military use to move men and equipment quickly where needed, much like Eisenhower, so inspired, planned the American interstate highway system. The economic benefits followed, like they did on Roman roads.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 10:33:33 PM by starik »