Author Topic: The Soviet Union: What Kind of Mistake Was It?  (Read 107232 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Elisabeth

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2131
    • View Profile
Re: The Soviet Union: What Kind of Mistake Was It?
« Reply #225 on: October 29, 2006, 08:06:36 AM »
The worst thing that could happen to Russia today would be for it to get enmeshed in a soul-searching about the nature of Bolshevism or in a debate about a restoration of monarchy or a return to its Slavic roots.  Russians need hope for their future, not atonement for their past.  As the United States proves every day, you can have a pretty robust nation and economy with a whole heap of skeletons left in closets in which only historians care to spend much time rummaging around for answers.

I disagree. In my opinion the Russian past is only too relevant to the Russian present and future. The Stalinist past is still casting its grim shadow. Look at what the Russians are doing in Chechnya, and have been doing since the 1990s, and honestly tell me that a little soul-searching isn't called for.

The difference between the U.S. and Russia is that in the U.S. there is a free and open debate about American war crimes committed in Iraq. And I would argue that in this debate the spectre of Vietnam and My Lai is always present... Our past does play a significant role in our present conduct, or at least in our wish to amend our present conduct. And while the Pentagon may try, as it has always done, to cover up war crimes committed by American military forces, the American press nevertheless publicizes these crimes and as a result any soldiers who are suspected of such atrocities will be court-martialled and sentenced. Whereas in Russia journalists who try to publicize Russian atrocities committed against the Chechen people are themselves murdered in cold blood. And the war crimes continue unabated, while the world turns a blind eye.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2006, 08:19:57 AM by Elisabeth »
... I love my poor earth
because I have seen no other

-- Osip Mandelshtam

Offline Tsarfan

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1848
  • Miss the kings, but not the kingdoms
    • View Profile
Re: The Soviet Union: What Kind of Mistake Was It?
« Reply #226 on: October 29, 2006, 12:53:59 PM »
I don't disagree with you in principle, Elisabeth.  If Russians could truly come to terms with their past -- why tsars and party chairmen have always had such an easy time with them and why violence has so often been a tool of state policy -- much good could come of it.

My problem is that I cannot divine the practical means by which such a discussion could arrive at a consensus which Russia could convert into a political program.  While I think that coming to terms with their autocratic heritage might help vaccinate them against another outbreak of totalitarianism, there are other forces afoot in Russia that have origins other than in a habit of bending the knee to authority.

Putin and the oligarchs who now drive the economy do not want a free political society.  The Orthodox Church does not want a pluralistic society.  Ethnic Russians have little concern for the plight and aspirations of minorities.  Ultra-nationalists want to reassemble the empire and use all necessary force to that end.  Others want to finish the job of disassembling it.  The tsars and the Bolsheviks did not create every wave of Russian history.  They rode some of them.

I simply cannot imagine the shape of the table at which all these partisans would sit down and hammer out a compromise.  Religious beliefs and political ideology are the least compromising of forces and rely heavily on the vocabulary of moral or intellectual superiority.

In my view, most nations get serious about adopting consensus and compromise as the preferred form of government when they begin to put the pursuit of individual economic well-being above other concerns.  Magna Carta resulted from barons who resented the monarch's assertion of rights over the management of their property, not because of ideological objections to the concept of kingship.  The American colonies sought independence largely because of British tax and tariff policies, not because of a fundamental objection to colonial rule.  The French Revolution erupted not over a desire to remove the Bourbons, but over the attempts of the bankrupt royal government to devise new means to grab a bigger piece of prosperous French commerce and agriculture.  The people and the government of modern China are learning to live in mutual tolerance because the pursuit of mammon has now been put on the front burner.  Germans embraced or accepted Nazi rule not because they craved a dictatorship or wanted to conquer Europe, but because the Weimar government was sullied by hyperinflation and then consumed by the worldwide depression of the early 1930's . . . and because Hitler was very careful not to force them into a choice between guns and butter.

A nation can advance with all sorts of bickering factions in the background, as long as the primary preoccupation of the people is their own wallets.  (Clinton knew what he was doing when he adopted his famous campaign mantra, It's the economy, stupid.)  When people move political ideology and religion to the forefront of national debate, things worsen very quicky.  When they relegate those concerns to the fringes of national life and put pursuit of economic well-being front and center, things move forward again.

I just cannot see any realistic process by which Russians could analyze their past, reach a consensus about its meaning and implications, and then forge a unified national political agenda.  I think the attempt would destroy the troubled balance that is emerging and leave them wide open once again to political chaos . . . which has never produced a good outcome for the Russian people.

Offline Elisabeth

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2131
    • View Profile
Re: The Soviet Union: What Kind of Mistake Was It?
« Reply #227 on: October 29, 2006, 06:24:18 PM »
A nation can advance with all sorts of bickering factions in the background, as long as the primary preoccupation of the people is their own wallets.  (Clinton knew what he was doing when he adopted his famous campaign mantra, It's the economy, stupid.)  When people move political ideology and religion to the forefront of national debate, things worsen very quicky.  When they relegate those concerns to the fringes of national life and put pursuit of economic well-being front and center, things move forward again.

I just cannot see any realistic process by which Russians could analyze their past, reach a consensus about its meaning and implications, and then forge a unified national political agenda.  I think the attempt would destroy the troubled balance that is emerging and leave them wide open once again to political chaos . . . which has never produced a good outcome for the Russian people.

Just because I said I thought Russia should examine its past (and present) crimes against humanity doesn't mean I thought there was any realistic prospect of this happening soon. Tsarfan, IMHO what you're basically saying is that only an authoritarian government (but let's be precise: an authoritarian government even worse than Nicholas II's or for that matter Alexander III's!) can work in Russia right now. I don't disagree. Money does talk, and that's precisely what's ruling Russia right now - oil money, and more specifically Gasprom, the biggest, baddest, meanest mega-oil company in the world, which will no doubt make Putin its CEO the minute he decides to retire from political power. In Russia, oil props up an otherwise faltering economy. In terms of what Russia contributes to the world at present, it's about par with Saudi Arabia. Which is to say, Russia produces oil, and not much else. Were oil prices to fall precipitiously, so would most of Russia's newfound, so-called "stability." But that's not likely to happen any time soon, given the gas-guzzling propensities of China, India, and the United States. All's the more pity for Chechnya (which also has oil, which also might help to explain why Russia is so determined to hold on to this poor beleaguered country).
« Last Edit: October 29, 2006, 06:26:28 PM by Elisabeth »
... I love my poor earth
because I have seen no other

-- Osip Mandelshtam

Offline Tsarfan

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1848
  • Miss the kings, but not the kingdoms
    • View Profile
Re: The Soviet Union: What Kind of Mistake Was It?
« Reply #228 on: October 29, 2006, 08:52:48 PM »
I agree entirely.  Depressing, ain't it?

Offline Elisabeth

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2131
    • View Profile
Re: The Soviet Union: What Kind of Mistake Was It?
« Reply #229 on: October 30, 2006, 12:44:21 PM »
I agree entirely.  Depressing, ain't it?

Yes. Sometimes I think we should have discussions of certain African countries, side by side with discussions of Russia, in order to gain some perspective. But then every other article I read is about how Russia is becoming a third world nation, despite its current leaders' illusions of grandeur. So maybe there really is little hope left for Russia after all.

On the other hand, I'm open to anyone who wants to argue the contrary. I love Russia, or at least, what used to be Russia - and I love plenty of people who themselves are Russians by birth. There's no joy in making dire pronouncements about such a once-great and potentially still-great nation's future, or lack thereof. It seems to me that Russia could yet surprise us all, and rise from the ashes yet a third time... To be absolutely clear, I'm counting the October Revolution of 1917, and the death of Stalin in 1953, as the two previous occasions when Russia has surprised the world by its imitation of the mythological Phoenix. That is, you thought she was dead, and she appeared dead, and yet in spite of all expectations to the contrary, she rose in triumph yet again...
... I love my poor earth
because I have seen no other

-- Osip Mandelshtam

Offline lexi4

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1914
  • don't take yourself too seriously
    • View Profile
Re: The Soviet Union: What Kind of Mistake Was It?
« Reply #230 on: November 05, 2006, 05:53:33 PM »
I agree entirely.  Depressing, ain't it?

Yes. Sometimes I think we should have discussions of certain African countries, side by side with discussions of Russia, in order to gain some perspective. But then every other article I read is about how Russia is becoming a third world nation, despite its current leaders' illusions of grandeur. So maybe there really is little hope left for Russia after all.

On the other hand, I'm open to anyone who wants to argue the contrary. I love Russia, or at least, what used to be Russia - and I love plenty of people who themselves are Russians by birth. There's no joy in making dire pronouncements about such a once-great and potentially still-great nation's future, or lack thereof. It seems to me that Russia could yet surprise us all, and rise from the ashes yet a third time... To be absolutely clear, I'm counting the October Revolution of 1917, and the death of Stalin in 1953, as the two previous occasions when Russia has surprised the world by its imitation of the mythological Phoenix. That is, you thought she was dead, and she appeared dead, and yet in spite of all expectations to the contrary, she rose in triumph yet again...

Wow. That was really well stated, Elisabeth. I think many are watching to see the direction Russia will take. I recently read the Putin has a 77 percent approval rating, according to Yury Levada Analytical Center. I am sure he will maintain and active role once he steps down in 2008. It will be interesting to watch.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely, in a pretty and well preserved body; but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "Wow ---- What a ride!!!"

Offline Tania+

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1206
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
    • View Profile
Re: The Soviet Union: What Kind of Mistake Was It?
« Reply #231 on: November 05, 2006, 07:51:40 PM »
I have been watching of late reports about the Russian Federation, the people, and especially about Putin. I was plesantly surprised that Putin stepped forward to say, he wants to have more internationals in the country, and is against these skin heads, and the terrible beatings of innocent peoples, sometimes murders. To my ears that is a great step forward in terms of offering rights, when one thinks of how it used to be, and where the government was very distanced from making any sort of home based stand.

I also understand that in the schools, they are allowing religion to be incorporated in the classroom curriculium as they did before the revolution. That is a very big change and I don't think many could have anticipated this at all.

Elizabeth, I also agree that Russia is turning the corner, and things are changing slowly. I do think he has the strong vote of the people, and I think as well that as you said, Russia will rise again for good. I also think that Putin even after his retirement, will be strongly involved in framing the future of Russia. I think he will help the people of Russia to understand that they play a greater part in having the say in the country. Yes, I do think that greater changes are transpiring, and will come to pass...

Tatiana+
TatianaA


Offline Zvezda

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 146
    • View Profile
Re: The Soviet Union: What Kind of Mistake Was It?
« Reply #232 on: March 18, 2008, 05:55:10 PM »
Quote
After the Revolution, the term "kulak" took on a much broader meaning. During Stalin’s collectivization campaign, which forced the peasantry into collective farms, a kulak was redefined to mean any peasant of means who owned, say, two cows. In other words a kulak was any peasant, "high" or "middle," who had a good reason to resist collectivization and therefore, the state determined, had either to be shot or deported to Siberia.
This is rather disinigenuous. The Soviet Government always regarded kulaks as constituing a small minority of the peasantry. Between 1930-32, some 250,000 families were transferred to distant regions; that number represented one-fourth of the kulak households and less than 1 percent of the total number of peasant households. Some of the kulaks worked in mining and lumbering; others were included in special agricultural artels with an appointed administration. By 1941 there were about 950,000 former kulaks in places of settlement. During the Patriotic War, the majority of the kulaks worked selflessly. Their children fought at the front against the fascist invaders. Many were awarded orders and medals. After the war the last restrictions on kulaks were lifted: they regained the right to leave their place of settlement. Thus, the majority of former kulaks were drawn into socialist construction, reeducated, and transformed into free citizens. Under socialism, those that belonged to the former exploiting classes are given the opportunity by the working people to participate in the national economy and assimilate into the socialist culture.

Quote
Lenin's government had to respond with terror to both the workers' (the Kronstadt Rebellion)
The outbreak of an isolated revolt among a few thousand thousand rebellious soldiers and sailors at a military port need not be overemphasized. The revolt was quickly suppressed because of its small scope. Remember that on 12 March 1917 some 200,000 revolutionary soldiers joined forces with striking workers in Petrograd and quickly took control of the city. Had the Kronstadt revolt been anything analogous to March 1917 in Petrograd then soviet power would have been eliminated in 1921.

The military revolt at Kronstadt should be seen in the context of the dissatisfaction by a portion of the population against the economic dislocation and other hardships caused by the civil war of 1918-20, imposed on Russia by the imperialist forces and their henchmen. Instead of reconciling themselves to the authority of the workers’ soviets, the SR-Menshevik conspirators resorted to organizing a violent revolt in order to set conditions for open activity by the White Guard and the restoration of capitalism. They employed such fallacious slogans as “Soviets without Communists.” A “Provisional Revolutionary Committee” was illegally established consisting of anarchists and SR-Menshevik elements which proceeded to arrest many Communists and workers. Against such bellicose provocations there was no choice except to suppress this violent revolt with the use of force. The SR-Mensheviks initiated this confrontation with the soviet authorities and ended up losing in what was a completely fair fight.

Quote
and to an even greater extent to the peasants' rebellions (which were not entirely put down until 1923).  I don't think anyone knows exactly how many people died as a result, but it was easily in the tens of thousands.

In the two largest cases of revolt against Soviet power, casualties were insignificant.

In Kronstadt, the rebels lost 3000 killed and wounded and the Red Army 4000 killed and wounded.

In Tambov, the bandits lost 5000 killed. Soviet military losses are not known, but no less than 3000 Communists and workers loyal to Moscow were murdered by the bandits.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2008, 05:58:43 PM by Zvezda »

Offline LisaDavidson

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 2665
    • View Profile
Re: The Soviet Union: What Kind of Mistake Was It?
« Reply #233 on: March 18, 2008, 07:41:10 PM »
Quote
After the Revolution, the term "kulak" took on a much broader meaning. During Stalin’s collectivization campaign, which forced the peasantry into collective farms, a kulak was redefined to mean any peasant of means who owned, say, two cows. In other words a kulak was any peasant, "high" or "middle," who had a good reason to resist collectivization and therefore, the state determined, had either to be shot or deported to Siberia.
This is rather disinigenuous. The Soviet Government always regarded kulaks as constituing a small minority of the peasantry. Between 1930-32, some 250,000 families were transferred to distant regions; that number represented one-fourth of the kulak households and less than 1 percent of the total number of peasant households. Some of the kulaks worked in mining and lumbering; others were included in special agricultural artels with an appointed administration. By 1941 there were about 950,000 former kulaks in places of settlement. During the Patriotic War, the majority of the kulaks worked selflessly. Their children fought at the front against the fascist invaders. Many were awarded orders and medals. After the war the last restrictions on kulaks were lifted: they regained the right to leave their place of settlement. Thus, the majority of former kulaks were drawn into socialist construction, reeducated, and transformed into free citizens. Under socialism, those that belonged to the former exploiting classes are given the opportunity by the working people to participate in the national economy and assimilate into the socialist culture.

Really? I don't think Nicholas II's five children would quite see it that way. Under "socialism" they were executed without trial by the government. The working people had no say in this. And so it was for millions of other young adults and minor children.

Quote
Lenin's government had to respond with terror to both the workers' (the Kronstadt Rebellion)
The outbreak of an isolated revolt among a few thousand thousand rebellious soldiers and sailors at a military port need not be overemphasized. The revolt was quickly suppressed because of its small scope. Remember that on 12 March 1917 some 200,000 revolutionary soldiers joined forces with striking workers in Petrograd and quickly took control of the city. Had the Kronstadt revolt been anything analogous to March 1917 in Petrograd then soviet power would have been eliminated in 1921.
[/quote]

And you say it as if that were a bad thing. I don't think anyone represented that Kronstadt was anything like the February Revolution, and there was no requirement that Lenin use terror. It was a choice and should be presented as such.

[/quote]
The military revolt at Kronstadt should be seen in the context of the dissatisfaction by a portion of the population against the economic dislocation and other hardships caused by the civil war of 1918-20, imposed on Russia by the imperialist forces and their henchmen. Instead of reconciling themselves to the authority of the workers’ soviets, the SR-Menshevik conspirators resorted to organizing a violent revolt in order to set conditions for open activity by the White Guard and the restoration of capitalism. They employed such fallacious slogans as “Soviets without Communists.” A “Provisional Revolutionary Committee” was illegally established consisting of anarchists and SR-Menshevik elements which proceeded to arrest many Communists and workers. Against such bellicose provocations there was no choice except to suppress this violent revolt with the use of force. The SR-Mensheviks initiated this confrontation with the soviet authorities and ended up losing in what was a completely fair fight.

Quote
and to an even greater extent to the peasants' rebellions (which were not entirely put down until 1923).  I don't think anyone knows exactly how many people died as a result, but it was easily in the tens of thousands.

Does anyone else see how a legitimate grievance with governmental authority can get twisted into "SR-Menshivik conspirators"? Does it not occur to you that the sailors who revolted against the Soviets were doing so because the Soviets abused their power and suppressed opposition parties?

[/quote]
In the two largest cases of revolt against Soviet power, casualties were insignificant.

In Kronstadt, the rebels lost 3000 killed and wounded and the Red Army 4000 killed and wounded.

In Tambov, the bandits lost 5000 killed. Soviet military losses are not known, but no less than 3000 Communists and workers loyal to Moscow were murdered by the bandits.
[/quote]

And, again, you refer to those who disagreed with government policy as "bandits". Just what were they stealing?

Please cease with the propaganda, because that can really work both ways, you know.

Offline Zvezda

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 146
    • View Profile
Re: The Soviet Union: What Kind of Mistake Was It?
« Reply #234 on: March 18, 2008, 08:17:17 PM »
Quote
Really? I don't think Nicholas II's five children would quite see it that way. Under "socialism" they were executed without trial by the government. The working people had no say in this. And so it was for millions of other young adults and minor children.
The execution of former tsar Nicolai Romanov and his family was the inevitable outcome that followed the invasion of Russian cities e.g. Kazan by Czech troops.

The execution of the Tsar and his family was legal. It was carried out by a decree of the presedium of the Urals oblast soviet. The soviets of on 7 November 1917 established themselves as the state authority in Russia. The precedent for the execution of oppressive, overthrown leaders had been established with Charles I of England and Louis XVI of France.

It was Tsar Nicholas who dispersed the First and Second Dumas, drowned Russia in blood, enslaved Poland and Finland, massacred peaceful demonstrators, terrorized the 1905 revolutionaries, unleashed pogroms against Jews, shot down workers on teh Lena, and ruined the peasants to the point of starvation all over Russia. With or without a trial the former Tsar deserved to pay for his crimes.

Quote
I don't think anyone represented that Kronstadt was anything like the February Revolution, and there was no requirement that Lenin use terror.
I cannot agree. Sailors and soldiers at Kronstadt took arms against the Russian Government. It's the right of a government to suppress illegal revolts.

Quote
And, again, you refer to those who disagreed with government policy as "bandits". Just what were they stealing?
Russian sources from the soviet period say that Antonov's bandits in Tambov plundered some 50 state farms, cut off the southeast railroad line, and killed thousands of state officials and pro-soviet workers.
http://www.cultinfo.ru/fulltext/1/001/008/063/401.htm

Offline LisaDavidson

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 2665
    • View Profile
Re: The Soviet Union: What Kind of Mistake Was It?
« Reply #235 on: March 19, 2008, 01:08:08 AM »
Quote
Really? I don't think Nicholas II's five children would quite see it that way. Under "socialism" they were executed without trial by the government. The working people had no say in this. And so it was for millions of other young adults and minor children.
The execution of former tsar Nicolai Romanov and his family was the inevitable outcome that followed the invasion of Russian cities e.g. Kazan by Czech troops.

The execution of the Tsar and his family was legal. It was carried out by a decree of the presedium of the Urals oblast soviet. The soviets of on 7 November 1917 established themselves as the state authority in Russia. The precedent for the execution of oppressive, overthrown leaders had been established with Charles I of England and Louis XVI of France.

It was Tsar Nicholas who dispersed the First and Second Dumas, drowned Russia in blood, enslaved Poland and Finland, massacred peaceful demonstrators, terrorized the 1905 revolutionaries, unleashed pogroms against Jews, shot down workers on teh Lena, and ruined the peasants to the point of starvation all over Russia. With or without a trial the former Tsar deserved to pay for his crimes.

Quote
I don't think anyone represented that Kronstadt was anything like the February Revolution, and there was no requirement that Lenin use terror.
I cannot agree. Sailors and soldiers at Kronstadt took arms against the Russian Government. It's the right of a government to suppress illegal revolts.

Quote
And, again, you refer to those who disagreed with government policy as "bandits". Just what were they stealing?
Russian sources from the soviet period say that Antonov's bandits in Tambov plundered some 50 state farms, cut off the southeast railroad line, and killed thousands of state officials and pro-soviet workers.
http://www.cultinfo.ru/fulltext/1/001/008/063/401.htm

You provide the usual Soviet justification for the execution of the Tsar, but that wasn't even my point. I said his children were executed without a trial in response to your contention that "working people" allowed former elites to work within the "socialist" system. Clearly, if you kill someone their ability to participate in your society is nil.

You also said that Lenin had no choice but to use terror with Kronstadt - and now are arguing that a government has a right to suppress "illegal" revolts. And, again, I would say to you, of course Comrade Lenin had a choice - he made the choice - and I was not arguing about whether or not suppression of dissent was correct or not. The thing is, eventually Communists might learn that there are ways other than violence to resolve differences. One can only hope.

And finally, smearing those who disagree with them is a very unfortunate aspect of the political culture of the USSR. I'm not sorry to see it gone, only sorry to hear it repeated here.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2008, 05:35:49 PM by LisaDavidson »

Offline Zvezda

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 146
    • View Profile
Re: The Soviet Union: What Kind of Mistake Was It?
« Reply #236 on: March 19, 2008, 04:54:03 PM »
Quote
I said his children were executed without a trial in response to your contention that "working people" allowed former elites to work within the "socialist" system.

And I will reiterate that the killing of the former Tsar was legal and was necessitated by Czech aggression against Russian cities.

The killing of the Tsar's children was certainly no less outrageous than the murder of Alexander Ulyanov and countless other revolutionary martyrs. To say nothing of the massacre of miners on the Lena.
Quote
You also said that Lenin had no choice but to use terror with Kronstadt
The term "terror" cannot be used with respect to a suppression of a violent, illegal revolt at a military base. Rebellious soldiers and sailors at Kronstadt initiated a confrontation with the Soviet state and lost in what was a completely fair fight.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2008, 05:05:24 PM by Zvezda »

Offline Robert_Hall

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 6648
  • a site.
    • View Profile
Re: The Soviet Union: What Kind of Mistake Was It?
« Reply #237 on: March 19, 2008, 05:50:45 PM »
I have hesitated in  posting on this thread, as so many already consider me "Red" as it is. But just what makes  the Soviet Union a "mistake"?
 It was a revolutionary social experiment.  Communism was an ideal, never achieved,. Revolution is a method to achieve, and, as it happens, there are sad consequences of that process. Although I see the  execution of the Imperial Family, in toto, as excessive, I also see it as a legal act by the powers in charge at that time.  The girls should have been saved, perhaps, but it did not happen that way.  So be it, they are all de facto results.
 All revolutions have excesses, they are unavoidable.  Sometimes they are excusable, justice. Other times, simple  revenge.
 Capitalism has it's excesses as well,  you all know.
 
 
Life may not be the party we expected, but while we are here, might as well dance..

Do you want the truth, or my side of the story ?- Hank Ketchum.

Offline LisaDavidson

  • Moderator
  • Velikye Knyaz
  • *****
  • Posts: 2665
    • View Profile
Re: The Soviet Union: What Kind of Mistake Was It?
« Reply #238 on: March 19, 2008, 06:00:30 PM »
Quote
Really? I don't think Nicholas II's five children would quite see it that way. Under "socialism" they were executed without trial by the government. The working people had no say in this. And so it was for millions of other young adults and minor children.
The execution of former tsar Nicolai Romanov and his family was the inevitable outcome that followed the invasion of Russian cities e.g. Kazan by Czech troops.

The execution of the Tsar and his family was legal. It was carried out by a decree of the presedium of the Urals oblast soviet. The soviets of on 7 November 1917 established themselves as the state authority in Russia. The precedent for the execution of oppressive, overthrown leaders had been established with Charles I of England and Louis XVI of France.

It was Tsar Nicholas who dispersed the First and Second Dumas, drowned Russia in blood, enslaved Poland and Finland, massacred peaceful demonstrators, terrorized the 1905 revolutionaries, unleashed pogroms against Jews, shot down workers on teh Lena, and ruined the peasants to the point of starvation all over Russia. With or without a trial the former Tsar deserved to pay for his crimes.

Quote
I don't think anyone represented that Kronstadt was anything like the February Revolution, and there was no requirement that Lenin use terror.
I cannot agree. Sailors and soldiers at Kronstadt took arms against the Russian Government. It's the right of a government to suppress illegal revolts.

Quote
And, again, you refer to those who disagreed with government policy as "bandits". Just what were they stealing?
Russian sources from the soviet period say that Antonov's bandits in Tambov plundered some 50 state farms, cut off the southeast railroad line, and killed thousands of state officials and pro-soviet workers.
http://www.cultinfo.ru/fulltext/1/001/008/063/401.htm

You said: Under socialism, those that belonged to the former exploiting classes are given the opportunity by the working people to participate in the national economy and assimilate into the socialist culture.

The truth: Under "socialism", those people were mostly killed. Their deaths made participation in the national economy and eventual "assimilation" impossible. Don't you agree that the dead have a tough time participating?

The topic is what happened to elites under the Soviets, not whether or not killing the Tsar was legal, and not whether the deaths of others under the Tsarist regime was bad/wrong or whatever.

You said; The outbreak of an isolated revolt among a few thousand thousand rebellious soldiers and sailors at a military port need not be overemphasized. The revolt was quickly suppressed because of its small scope. Remember that on 12 March 1917 some 200,000 revolutionary soldiers joined forces with striking workers in Petrograd and quickly took control of the city. Had the Kronstadt revolt been anything analogous to March 1917 in Petrograd then soviet power would have been eliminated in 1921.

The truth: The reason that the February Revolution succeeded is because the uprising was not suppressed by the government. According to you, governments have the right to suppress "illegal" dissent. The revolutionaries were not treated with violence. Kronstadt's rebellion was suppressed by the government using violence.

You said: In the two largest cases of revolt against Soviet power, casualties were insignificant. In Kronstadt, the rebels lost 3000 killed and wounded and the Red Army 4000 killed and wounded.
In Tambov, the bandits lost 5000 killed. Soviet military losses are not known, but no less than 3000 Communists and workers loyal to Moscow were murdered by the bandits.

The truth: The Tambov Uprising happened during the Civil War. Deaths were approximately 250,000 people, mostly women, children, and the elderly. I don't know anyone who could possibly call this "insignificant casualties". This was a callous indifference to life. It was also a brutal suppression of the peasantry outside Moscow (you know, those "working people" that "socialism" was supposed to help?) and yet another demonstration of Soviet willingness to use violence and terror against her own people. The targets included Left SRs who originally supported the October Revolution and the Menshiviks, who were true Socialists.

Ironic, ain't it?

Offline Zvezda

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 146
    • View Profile
Re: The Soviet Union: What Kind of Mistake Was It?
« Reply #239 on: March 19, 2008, 07:36:30 PM »
Quote
The truth: Under "socialism", those people were mostly killed. Their deaths made participation in the national economy and eventual "assimilation" impossible. Don't you agree that the dead have a tough time participating?
This claim disregards the fact that restrictions on the resettled kulaks were gradually lifted and that the kulaks were drawn into the national economy and assimilated into Russian society.
Quote
The truth: The Tambov Uprising happened during the Civil War. Deaths were approximately 250,000 people, mostly women, children, and the elderly. I don't know anyone who could possibly call this "insignificant casualties".  It was also a brutal suppression of the peasantry outside Moscow (you know, those "working people" that "socialism" was supposed to help?) and yet another demonstration of Soviet willingness to use violence and terror against her own people.
Casualties during the Antonovshchina in the Tambov area amounted to about 5000 dead bandits and likely an equal number of Red Army troops. There was nothing peaceful about the methods of the bandits. Some 3000 workers and soviet functionaries were murdered and there was extensive material damage in the area. The bandits made use of the tactics and methods of partisan warfare, resorting to ambushes and surprise attacks. Against this violent war of aggression declared by the kulaks against established soviet authority, the working people through the Red Army had no choice but to defend themselves.

With the implementation of the New Economic Policy, the revolt lost any basis for its continuation. When Tukhachevsky, Uborevich, and others were sent to combat the bandits in May 1921, they had orders to finish off the bandits within a month. By July, the size of Antonov’s forces diminished by some 40,000 men, down from a peak of 50,000. By August 1921 the revolt was completely suppressed.

There was not anything extraordinary about a peasant revolt in Russia, for there were thousands of peasant disturbances in 1917 when the land held by the nobility were seized. When measured with the partisan activity against the White Guard and the interventionists, the Tambov revolt seems insignificant. In December 1919, more than 50,000 partisans operated in the rear of Denikin’s troops in Ukraine. Many cities were liberated, including Poltava, Kaztin, and Kremenchug. Around Novorissisk and Tuapse, some 15,000 red and green partisans fought successful battles against the White Guard and disrupted transportation on the Maikop-Tuapse line. The partisan movement in the northern Caucasus diverted a considerable portion of Denikin’s forces and helped Soviet troops the foil the enemy offensive in Astrakhan. The partisan movement attained an even broader scope in Siberia. In the summer of 1919, the partisans in Altai province numbered 25,000. About 100,000 partisans in Siberia liberated vast regions even before the approach of the Red Army. In February 1920, some 20,000 partisans liberated the Amur region.

Quote
The targets included Left SRs who originally supported the October Revolution and the Menshiviks, who were true Socialists
Remember that it were the right-wing SRs and Mensheviks, who were in the minority, that walked out of the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets in the fall of 1917. A broad socialist coalition government thus became impossible due to the reactionary attitude of these groups. The Left SRs voted in favor of transferring power to the Soviets and were represented in the new government. They clinged onto social chauvinist positions and then decided to defect after February 1918 when they refused to adapt to the realities of the international situation, insisting on the continuation of the disastrous war with Germany. The Left SRs later that summer then tried to renew a war with Germany by assassinating their ambassador and then proceeded to try and seize power in Moscow, which ended in failure. The Bolsheviks cannot be blamed for the refusal of SRs and the Mensheviks to reconcile themselves to soviet power, which had become the supreme authority in Russia.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2008, 07:38:34 PM by Zvezda »