Toronto: Celebrate the Russian Revolution

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RosaL

Sven wrote:

While the Nazis and the Communists certainly weren't identical in their evil (I'll grant you that), how about comparing the Nazis, the Communists, and the liberal democracies of Western Europe -- and, when looking at it through that lens, the Nazis and the Communists are, for practical purposes, nearly indistinguishable relative to those democracies.

There is not so much a left-right spectrum (with the left being the polar opposite of the right) but, instead, more of a circle where the extreme Left merges into the extreme right (and liberal democracies are 180 degrees away on the "other side" of the circle.

You need to read some histories of capitalism and imperialism by people who don't admire it. 

"When capital and the ruling classes apologise for: Colonialism, the 14 hour day, class privilege, the 7 day working week, children in coalmines, the opium wars, the massacre of the Paris Commune, slavery, the Spanish-American War, the Boer War, starvation, apartheid, anti-union laws, the First World War, Flanders, trench warfare, mustard gas, aerial bombing, the Soviet Intervention, the Armenian Genocide, chemical weapons, fascism, the Great Depression, hunger marches, Nazism, the Spanish Civil War, militarism, Asbestosis, radiation death, the Massacre of Nanking, the Second World War, Belsen, Dresden, Hiroshima, Racism, The Mafia, nuclear weapons, the Korean War, DDT, McCarthyism, production lines, blacklists, Thalidomide, the rape of the Third World, poverty, the arms race, plastic surgery, the electric chair, environmental degradation, the Vietnam War, the military suppression of Greece, India, Malaya, Indonesia, Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama and Turkey, the Gulf War, trade in human body parts, malnutrition, Exxon Valdez, deforestation, organized crime, the Heroin and Cocain trade, tuberculosis, the destruction of the Ozone Layer, cancer, exploitation of labour and the deaths of 50,000,000 Communists and trade unionists in this century alone, then - and only then - will I consider apologising for the errors of socialism."

Fidel

Sven wrote:

Fidel wrote:

...as if the "liberal democracies" played no part in re-building Germany for war...

...as if the Communists played no part in helping the Nazi's focus on overrunning Western Europe...

Oh there are some very dark corners of history for capitalists and western world financiers when it came to propping up a corporate sponsored military machine leading up to WW II, Sven. The US ambassador said in 1938 that he was embarrassed with how many American capitalists were tripping over one another in Berlin then while America was still recovering from the terrible depression. They thought the Soviets were still recovering from WW I and western aggression part one aka "civil" war in Russia. Roosevelt and Churchill fully believed the Nazis would occupy the Kremlin no more than six weeks after the start of barbarossa. In their minds there was no way the Russians could have readied themselves for Hitler's war of annihilation against Soviet communism.

Sven Sven's picture

RosaL wrote:

Here's the thing: I'm way more interested in everyone having enough to live than in your having an array of consumer choices.

Of course.  But, can't you admit that you value equality more than individual autonomy.  I just happen to put more value on individual autonomy -- and less on equality -- than you do.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Nice dance, Sven.

So, "taking whatever the state will give you" is the same as the Holocaust? You really want to stick with that lightweight argument, big boy?

 

A_J

N.Beltov wrote:
A_J:

To be fair, the Nazis set about to physically exterminate all Jews and Slavs. Please identify the Stalin equivalent.

Who said anything about an "equivalent"?

Merely pointing out that when you compare the two regimes and their respective crimes side-by-side, it doesn't take some long term conspiracy (as you allege) to confuse the two. The communists did a pretty good job of blurring the dividing line all by themselves.

Sure, National Socialism deliberately set out to kill millions of people and erase entire identifiable groups . . . but Soviet Communism ended up killing millions of people anyway, even if it didn't single out particular groups for deliberate physical extermination (though even that is debatable).

'Intent' might matter a lot in criminal law, and I would agree that it counts for a lot here too, but it's pretty lame if that's the only distinction you can draw between the two regimes.

Sven Sven's picture

Fidel wrote:

Oh there are some very dark corners of history for capitalists and western world financiers when it came to propping up a corporate sponsored military machine leading up to WW II, Sven.

I won't dispute that.

Nevertheless, I'll take a liberal democracy like Canada, the US, Sweden, Germany, France any day over life in a state-controlled fascist or Communist society, in no small part because in the latter two systems, individual autonomy and choice don't really exist.

Sven Sven's picture

N.Beltov wrote:

Nice dance, Sven.

So, "taking whatever the state will give you" is the same as the Holocaust? You really want to stick with that lightweight argument, big boy?

I'm happy to stand by a classification of Stalinist Russia and Maoist China with Nazi Germany any day -- when those systems are compared to, say, France, Canada, the USA, Sweden, and Canada.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

A_J, your claim was that the "To be fair, the confusion was understandable."

 

So, is it confusion or not? You NOW seem to be equating things that you say are "confused" with each other.

 

I'm confused as to which claim you're making. Comment?

RosaL

Sven wrote:

Of course.  But, can't you admit that you value equality more than individual autonomy.  I just happen to put more value on individual autonomy -- and less on equality -- than you do.

 

I value life for all over the kinds of choices you have in mind, if and when they conflict. You call it "equality". I call it "not dying". Or "a bit of food". 

Fidel

Sven, why do you think the iron curtain went up in the USSR? And from your point of view, if mad as a hatter MacArthur threatened North Korea and China with nuking hundreds of millions of human beings, wouldn't you think they'd be just a little concerned about that? Since WW II it's been illegal to threaten other countries with military attack, and yet your country has done just that dozens of times and been the foremost military threat to world peace since 1991, and all the while continuing to press Eastward with NATO expansion. What do you, personally,  think about that, and in your own words and not the recycled megalomaniacal meanderings of our warmongering plutocrats in Warshington and sn'Ottawa?

Sven Sven's picture

Fidel wrote:

Sven, why do you think the iron curtain went up in the USSR?

Was it the same reason that the West Germans used to gun down those trying to cross into East Germany?

A_J

N.Beltov wrote:
A_J, your claim was that the "To be fair, the confusion was understandable."

So, is it confusion or not? You NOW seem to be equating things that you say are "confused" with each other.

I'm confused as to which claim you're making. Comment?

I am making the same statement. I have yet to equate the two, despite you twice claiming, falsely, that I have.

Your claim: equating Communism and Nazism is a long term conspiracy to render people unable to distinguish between the two or know which side was which during the war.

My claim: to be fair, the lack of clarity or indistinctiveness doesn't require some long term conspiracy. While perhaps not absolutely equal, it's not hard to see why some might be confused about the two.

Any confusion about what I'm saying exists in your own head. I think I've been fairly clear.

Sven Sven's picture

RosaL wrote:

I value life for all over the kinds of choices you have in mind, if and when they conflict. You call it "equality". I call it "not dying". Or "a bit of food". 

Really?  You mean like the mass starvations we experienced in the US and Canada in the 20th century -- just like those seen in Communist Russia and China?

Seriously, RosaL, it's clear that you value equality more than personal autonomy.  I just happen to disagree with.

Fidel

Sven wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Sven, why do you think the iron curtain went up in the USSR?

Was it the same reason that the West Germans used to gun down those trying to cross into East Germany?

Okay, what do you think about the OSS-CIA hiring Himmler's SS to spy on the Soviets after 1945? They were basically scheming with the bastards by 1943 when they realized Hitler was going to lose the war. What do you think of NATO's stay behind terrrorists in Europe and the false flag terrorism they perpetrated both sided of the iron curtain after the war? And all the while the wall was patrolled, hundreds of thousands of indigenous people were being slaughtered in Latin America by America's proxies. Do you think they could have used a fucking wall in those countries?

Sven Sven's picture

Fidel wrote:

Okay, what do you think about...

The bottom line is that you'd rather live under a Communist regime (e.g., Soviet Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, and Maoist China) and I'd rather live in a western democracy (Canada, USA, Sweden, France, or Germany).

Fidel

You're full of shit, Sven.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

A_J: OK, so you're sympathizing with those who are confused by equating communism and fascism. My point, incidently, was about the meaning of world war 2 and its results. I don't want to go into a lot of detail but I would say that this covers:

1. that countries with different social systems could work together, in common cause, to defeat a dangerous enemy;

2. that a war of this magnitude must never be allowed to happen again as the whole species would be in danger by such a war, and that, therefore,

3. there is hardly a more important cause (we would today add the protection of the biosphere from environmental collapse leading to mass species extinction, including possibly our own species) than preventing war on planet earth.

 

and so on.

RosaL

Sven wrote:

RosaL wrote:

I value life for all over the kinds of choices you have in mind, if and when they conflict. You call it "equality". I call it "not dying". Or "a bit of food". 

Really?  You mean like the mass starvations we experienced in the US and Canada in the 20th century -- just like those seen in Communist Russia and China?

Seriously, RosaL, it's clear that you value equality more than personal autonomy.  I just happen to disagree with.

 

Sven, my family came close to starving in the 20th century in Canada. But why is it only starving in the US or Canada that matters? It's characteristic of this phase of capitalism that most people in the "centre" have enough to eat. The further you go from the centre, the worse it gets. Millions starved (and starve and suffer) in the rest of the world, under capitalism. Are they irrelevant? 

You may "happen" to hold an opinion. I don't happen to hold mine: it comes out of experience, reading, and reflection and it's a matter of moral conviction. Good and evil. Justice. It's not a consumer choice. 

Sven Sven's picture

Sven wrote:

The bottom line is that you'd rather live under a Communist regime (e.g., Soviet Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, and Maoist China) and I'd rather live in a western democracy (Canada, USA, Sweden, France, or Germany).

Fidel wrote:

You're full of shit, Sven.

So, you disagree with what I said?  You really wouldn't rather live in Soviet Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, or Maoist China than in a western, free-market democracy?

Sven Sven's picture

RosaL wrote:

Sven wrote:

Seriously, RosaL, it's clear that you value equality more than personal autonomy.  I just happen to disagree with.

Sven, my family came close to starving in the 20th century in Canada.

Ditto for my family and Ms. Sven's family in the USA.

But, there's an incomparable difference between that and then tens of milions of people who actually starved to death under Communist Russian and Chinese rule in the 20th century...

Being that as it may, I would rather live in an unequal society (absent millions of people starving to death) where individuals largely have unfettered personal autonomy and freedom than in a system which mandates equality but also, necessarily, clamps down on, if not eliminates it entirely, individual autonomy and freedom.

Sven Sven's picture

To reiterate, Fidel:

Sven wrote:

You really wouldn't rather live in Soviet Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, or Maoist China than in a western, free-market democracy?

Fidel

Sven wrote:
So, you disagree with what I said?  You really wouldn't rather live in Soviet Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, or Maoist China than in a western, free-market democracy?

Wouldn't you first want to imagine how the liberal democracies would look after two-thirds of the world wage vicious trade embargoes and dirty wars, false flag terrorism etc against us for 50 years? We could call them hypocites for preaching "free trade" for 50 years while doing anything but supporting free trade and free labour markets. Would your either-or cold war logic work better then? Or are you just trying to give me the bum's rush into choosing liberal-fascism before realizing you've puilled the wool over my eyes? Any decent shell game requires at least three shells. You do a poor impression of Monty Hall.

Fidel

Well according to the way you argue, I can simply ignore 98 percent of what you've said and declare myself the winner if only in my own mind. It's about democracy and choices, Sven. I don't like it when colder war hawks make those choices for me. It's paternalistic and condescending. I will never choose liberal-fascism when given a choice. And in our dollar democracies, about 85 to 90 percent of people do not have a choice. Not really. Instead of one party rule we have two, and it's merely an illusion of democracy. And it's falling apart slowly but surely. It's what happens when you have a relative handful few elites making the big decisions all of the time.

Sven Sven's picture

Fidel wrote:

...a relative handful few elites making the big decisions all of the time.

You perfectly described what happens in single-party societies.  And the result?  Little, if any, individual choice.

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

j.m.

Sven wrote:

Fidel wrote:

...a relative handful few elites making the big decisions all of the time.

You perfectly described what happens in single-party societies.  And the result?  Little, if any, individual choice.

_______________________________________

Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!

I wouldn't defend the indefensible, either. But you defend liberalism through qualifying it as liberal-democracy, as to avoid the fascist/authoritarian label.

No one can be free enslaved to someone else for a living wage, or begging on the street because the only rights they can have are both alienable and tradeable for capital.

Fidel

Sven wrote:

Fidel wrote:

...a relative handful few elites making the big decisions all of the time.

You perfectly described what happens in single-party societies.  And the result?  Little, if any, individual choice.

No what I described was a vicious cold war waged on against a number of countries that tried to exist outside the influence of a vicious empire.

And right now your country is run by a tiny handful of elites on Wall Street whove basically seized control over powers of resource allocation normally associated with democratically elected government. Over the next ten years or more the equivalent of medieval European financiers and their hirelings in Washington will do to America what they did to Russia and Eastern Europe in the 1990's. Already there are 50 million Americans without health care, and 50 million American children will rely on food stamps at some point in their lives. Two years ago there were somewhere around 38 million food insecure Americans. Unemployment soars and national debt skyrockets in America so that US taxpayers can prop up a parasitic financial system. The war machine continues to command more of the annual budget expenditures than everything else that matters. NSA and US telecoms are given carte blanche licence to spy on the lives of millions of Americans using the most sophisticated wiretap technology ever conceived. And our rotten bastards in Ottawa play right along with the whole charade. Where is the choice in any of this, Sven?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Well, it's actually rather fascinating that this thread is still going on, considering that it was started by an annoucement of an event that was to take place three years ago.

Celebrate the Russian Revolution.  And learn from it.  Learn how to avoid it's failures and how to build a revolutionary model that can withstand external and internal threats without becoming a cruel mockery of its founding principles.

Another world IS possible(and necessary).  But another WAY to that world must be found.

Learning THAT lesson is the best possible tribute we can pay to those who fought and died in 1917.

 

Fidel

Sven wrote:

To reiterate, Fidel:

Sven wrote:

You really wouldn't rather live in Soviet Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, or Maoist China than in a western, free-market democracy?

I believe the Nazis gave certain ethnic groups the choice to leave Germany in the 1930's. And even though many Jews and other ethnics had good reasons to leave their families, their elderly parents and grandparents and everything else they'd ever known behind them to seek better lives elsewhere, many chose to stay. Why do you think that was, Sven? How many of the millions of poverty-stricken Americans and Canadians realistically have the choice to pick up and leave for another country?

Fidel

We can learn from all revolutions. The American revolution is a good example of a people who set out to create the first constitutional democracy not ruled by a monarchy and European financier oligarchy. That too is a failed experiment. And now that the thousand year old Venetian-Dutch-Anglo-American banking and financial system has pretty much overthrown our democracies in the western world, I think we have to consider working toward full democracy next time. Left and right wings both see one world government as the end goal. I hope I never live to see total fascism and a world ruled by a handful few financial elite as they have worked so diligently toward achieving since WW II.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Agreed.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Long.

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