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LTJ, it's entierly possible to despise both of them. And you can't assume that everybody who wishes the famine in the Ukraine to be commemorated wants Dubya to be let off the hook.
Dubya is a piker compared with Stalin. Only killed thousands of his own, and at worst a few hundred thousand in total, against Stalin's millions.
But he could still be brought to justice - or we could build this monument to pure distraction instead.
And father Stalin is still somewhat revered in a positive light in Russia, like the doctor and the madman, Reagan, and crazy Georges I&II are still well thought of by Republican conservatives in the US. Western democracies have propped up the most brutal rightwing dictatorships around the world since Stalin died, which might make us ponder what kind of democracy it is that we have.
[url=http://www.versobooks.com/books/cdef/d-titles/davis_m_late_victorian.sht...'s a book that might be worth reading.[/url]
"Davis argues that the seeds of underdevelopment in what later became known as the Third World were sown in this era of High Imperialism, as the price for capitalist modernization was paid in the currency of millions of peasants' lives."
Arguably, a parallel statement could be made about Stalin: millions of peasants paid the price of modernization. That doesn't excuse him by any means. Kinda puts things in perspective, though.
It seems that many want to make the point that 'capitalism' is as bad if not worse than the massacring genocidal regimes of the last century in europe.
the purpose of this thread was originally to try to clarify what 'communism' did not mean, and along the way to indicate that those who pointed fingers like Harper had three fingers pointing back at themselves.
RosaL, thanks for that link.
Perhaps I didn't mention this before (and forgive me if I did), so let me add to your comments, thanks' comments, and Lard's comments (using Wikipedia).
1) There was a Scissors Crisis back in the 1920s, whereby the gap between the price of food and the price of industrial equipment grew.
2) Collectivization before Stalin was limited to a few trials, and I'm really not sure how much the Bolsheviks encouraged peasants to consolidate their lands together to share tractors and other capital-intensive agricultural equipment.
3) There were different approaches to collectivization: common land usage, artel, and commune. The artel approach was the basis of the kolkhozy. Agricultural communes didn't survive past the 1920s.
[Poland never had any collectivization, despite their anti-communist hysteria.]
4) None of the above forms, however, took the fullest advantage of economies of scale or absorbed the "business risk." Only one form of "collectivization" did, and that form should be reconsidered in light of developments like industrial farming, urban farming, and the grand eco daddy that is vertical farming.
5) The collectivization policy pursued in the *Soviet Union* was mixed.
#3 was implemented in the likes of the Ukraine. The peasants naturally didn't like the idea of retaining the "business risk" while selling a fixed quota with price ceilings attached. However, they reacted by trying to hold urban centers hostage, by burning their produce. Guess what happens when this kind of economic terrorism occurs?
However, #4 was implemented in the likes of Central Asia. Yes, there were casualties, but in the long run #4 was far more productive. The state owned the facilities and employed everybody, but also absorbed the "business risk." This yielded directoral/managerial experts the likes of Belarussian Alexander Lukashenko. After Stalin's death, it was Soviet policy to consolidate as many kolkhozy as possible into... sovkhozy.
ETA carried Jjacob's post over
Step back for a moment and look at this: WE blame the 'communists' for dividing Europe after WW2- into Eastern and Western Europe. That included East/West Germany. And 300 miles inside EAST Germany you find...WEST BERLIN! Now the great famine in the Ukraine happened, and....it was terrible. But get the fact the 'Iron Curtain' was blamed on GenSec Stalin when it turns out it was Truman/Churchill etc, the rightwing reactionaries who were the leaders of the Allies who forced the Soviet Union into hanging onto as much territory as possible in fear of the Atom Bomb. Also, it forced USSR to pay for heavily damaged East Europe while the 'marshal plan' only used in West. Somehow, logic and reality and truth get tossed away in the rush to blame we Workers for the mess because we dare aspire to a better life for the future generations. If the PIG can get away for 60 years blaming the Berlin Wall on Stalin, then who's to say he isn't lying about Katyn, or the famine, or 911? Robert Conquest made his bones lying about the goddam history- and even william shirer hardly set anyone right. THe USSR is gone forever, and reactionaries control the entire planet, and the lies just never end. The IRON CURTAIN was a western creation! But I never knew that though i read and read about the 'European Civil war 1914-45' which, we find out now, actually ended when Berlin Wall fell (a gloating David Frum said the 'French Revolution' finally ended that day!) when Berlin was divided up into zones by Stalin after it was totally under Soviet control! The truth leaks out, and the lies are all they have to plug leaks, but lies work. 'Thanks' might be misreading the message about the great famine if such an enormous trick (blaming Stalin for coldwar Europe) could be pulled off against the public interest and right out in the open! The 'cold war' that resulted was intentional, caused by OUR SIDE! Jesus h keerist. Our leaders had no shame, not even one iota...now we gonna pay, and pay forever!