"Communist" Nations -- An Interesting Anomaly

Discussion in 'History' started by Dragon, Nov 3, 2011.

  1. Dragon
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    Dragon Senior Member

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    Here's something that occurred to me recently. Every Communist country that has ever existed has defied Marxist predictions. That is, every Communist country in history has been one that Marx would have said was impossible.

    Here's what I mean. According to Marxist theory, civilization progresses according to a fixed sequence determined by economics and class struggle. A feudal/agrarian economy becomes a capitalist/industrial economy as the rising bourgeoisie (or capitalist class) struggles against the aristocracy and wins. Only AFTER THAT does a mature industrial capitalist country see the workers' revolt that is supposed to establish a socialist economy.

    But if you look at the list of Communist revolutions in history -- Russia, China, Vietnam, Cuba -- NONE of these occurred in mature industrial capitalist countries! All of them jumped the gun, so to speak, and went straight from a feudal/agrarian economy to a socialist economy. And that, according to Marxist theory, is not supposed to happen.

    At the same time, the genuine mature industrial capitalist economies did experience worker revolt just as Marx predicted, but the outcomes of that revolt defied his predictions. Nowhere was the capitalist democracy overthrown and a "dictatorship of the proletariat" created. Always there was reform, mixing socialist elements with capitalism and providing the working class with a share of the proceeds.

    Meanwhile, the allegedly Communist countries industrialized by a different, socialist road, with the investment of capital controlled by the state rather than by private individuals. In the long run, centralized socialism proved no better at running an industrialized economy than laissez-faire capitalism, although also no worse, and either one sufficed to do the job of industrializing itself.

    My own conclusion is that Marx had some interesting insights but the world is more complex than he thought it was.
     
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  2. Baruch Menachem
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    Baruch Menachem '

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    If the theory does not fit the facts, nor the facts fit the theory, the problem is not with the facts.
     
  3. Dragon
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    Dragon Senior Member

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    Definitely the case. Marx was wrong.
     
  4. whitehall
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    whitehall Gold Member

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    You are making an invalid assumpton dragon. Capitalism is not synonymous with industrialism. Back around the turn of the 20th century a country could have been relatively agrarian and capitalist even under a monarchy. Russia didn't skip over capitalism. Capitalism was crushed (along with much of the population) by the socialist revolution.
     
  5. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    When the stupid gets that deep into the fabric it's beyond saving.

    Stop getting your history from the Communists, they lie about everything
     
  6. whitehall
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    whitehall Gold Member

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    No people in their right minds willingly trade freedom for communism. Communism doesn't get voted in at the polls. It comes at the point of a gun. Stalin and Mao rival Hitler as the worst monsters in history. Yet it seems that one of Obama's staff tells school kids that one of her political heroes is ...Chairman Mao. The liberal media probably thinks the same way or they would have questioned the administration about the issue. One of Obama's green jobs board members was an admitted communist who once led an arson and looting rampage. Fortunately the alternate information sources broke the story of Van Jones and he was quickly given a bus ticket and a kick in the ass home.
     
  7. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    "...Ideology makes men fight for their servitude as stubbornly as though it were their salvation." Deleuze/Guattari

    I agree but communism like any ism is an ideal and as you wrote doesn't fit all. I would argue that today's republican tea party and the libertarian element also do not fit. Proof is the failure since Reagan to raise the boat for all people, and how do we explain capitalistic communist China?

    "The most fundamental problem with libertarianism is very simple: freedom, though a good thing, is simply not the only good thing in life. Simple physical security, which even a prisoner can possess, is not freedom, but one cannot live without it. Prosperity is connected to freedom, in that it makes us free to consume, but it is not the same thing, in that one can be rich but as unfree as a Victorian tycoon's wife. A family is in fact one of the least free things imaginable, as the emotional satisfactions of it derive from relations that we are either born into without choice or, once they are chosen, entail obligations that we cannot walk away from with ease or justice. But security, prosperity, and family are in fact the bulk of happiness for most real people and the principal issues that concern governments." Robert Locke The American Conservative -- Marxism of the Right
     
  8. Sallow
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    Sallow The Big Bad Wolf. Supporting Member

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    Amazing? Communism doesn't get "voted in at the polls it comes at the point of a gun"? You conveniently seem to forget the American Revolution and the French Revolution. Those came in at the point of a gun as well. Comparing Stalin and Mao to Hitler is also naive. They were different animals. Hitler systematically slaughtered people because they weren't the German ideal of white and christian. Stalin and Mao set forth plans that failed miserably and caused a great deal of death. But to ignore the fact that Stalin and Mao was coming off the heels of a revolution and smack dab into a World War as a factor in that, is amazingly revisionist.

    While I personally think Communism is a failure..discussing rationally helps make that case. Making up stuff gets people more interested once they discover what the real history was..
     
  9. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    I think you have been misinformed about the state of Russian industrialism before the communist takeover.

    Russia was also an industrialized nation by 1900.

    True it also had an enormous agricultural component to its economy, (90% still lived on the land) but the Communists that took overy Russia did so because there was an enormous number of FACTORY WORKERS in Russia.
     
  10. Dragon
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    Dragon Senior Member

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    Can you see that there's a difference between a country with some industry and an industrialized country? The fact that 90% of the people still lived on the land illustrates the difference. Russia in 1917 was at about the same stage of industrialization as the U.S. in 1830. Marxist analysis would put it nowhere near ready for an uprising of the proletariat, because the proletariat (and bourgeoisie for that matter) hardly existed. The real power under the Tsar was held not by capitalists but by the titled nobility.

    Not relating to your post, Editec, but I find it interesting and perhaps predictable that we have visible jerking knees on the right, reacting like Pavlov's dog to the word "Communism" without any understanding of what's actually being discussed, and apparently oblivious to the fact that their comments on how "bad" Communism is are of no relevance to this discussion at all. I guess any attempt to deal with Marxist philosophy intelligently and rationally, even when it's a criticism such as I'm offering here, offends them, since they think any right-hearted Murkin should simply foam at the mouth and spit. :tongue:
     

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