Socialism never needed to be tied to authoritarianism
By - Ok_Cupcake8963
> What people often forget about the Russian Revolution was that there was multiple factions of socialism and not all them were dictatorial like Lenin, nor Marxist.
What makes you think that they were less authoritarian? Is it possible they just didnt have enough time to show their authoritarianism, since they never made it to power in the first place?
If Russia was the only experiment with socialism, maybe you can make your argument which essentially boils down to "we havnt had **real** socialism yet", but with at least 30 attempts all ending in horribly, Im not sure you can make that argument anymore.
Because they actually set up a democratic system briefly.
Yes, Russia was a democracy for a very short period... Until Lenin overthrew it.
That's how I know.
People rarely know much about pre-Russian revolution socialist history.
Lenin was a major influence on modern socialist thought but not on pre-revolution thought
> Because they actually set up a democratic system briefly.
And my point is how brief was it?
Too brief because to put it shortly, Lenin and his faction successfully performed a coup.
Lenin directly advocated for a dictatorship.
Socialism =/= Leninist-Marxism ESPECIALLY pre-Russian revolution.
It's what makes those whom applaud Lenin that more contemptible.
We don't know how history would've have turned out if Lenin failed and this democratic system survived, but we do know that there were genuine socialists (NOT MARXISTS) who fought for one. It was Lenin who took that away and created the Soviet Union, a government that cared very little for the plight of the working class. He deserves no respect, especially from those whom claim to want a fairer society for the poor.
Some within the Anarcho-socialist branch of thinking, such as the anarchist Bukini (think I have misspelt) actually argued that Marx's system would devolve into a dictatorship.
Thanks for stating this because you're absolutely right and people pretend like it didn't happen. Kerensky was an elected representative of Russia that had to flee in exile and was never able to return home again under threat of imprisonment or death.
I'm a fan of history, and I have always wondered how the world would be so different if that Democratic system managed to survive.
I have no idea how it would have turned out, but most people on either side of this debate neglect these parts of history.
The world would have been so different.
Unfortunately I think Latin America often showcases the worst of Democracy - you win an election and try to throw your opponents in jail so they plot a coup to overthrow you first, and finally the military just appoints someone that's acceptable to enough people to keep the peace.
Lenin was supportive of democracy too. Until he lost.
Cuba is doing well considering the circumstances
It's still a dictatorship however, and enough people understand the influence the Soviet Union (itself heavily influenced by Leninism).
I dont consider forced abortions to be doing well.
Then you'd have to say canada isn't doing well because it still performs forced abortions and birth control on indigenous people.
There are other major issues in cuba, but Im fine with that claim if Canada is still doing that. Any country that performs forced abortions en mass, has an issue.
Every single incarnation of socialism in every single country around the world descended into authoritarian oppression, mass killings and eventual chaos. Look at socialism in Europe, in Afr!ca, in Latin America... you can't blame all those on Lenin. Those all failed on their own.
Every single one of them derived from Leninism though.
That's incidental. These countries themselves decided to be oppressive, authoritarian and murderous. No one forced them to do those things... which leads a logical person to assume that it was due to the socialist ideology itself which resulted in those outcomes.
No it's not at all.
Socialism =/= Marxist theory.
There were different branches of socialism, and some were genuinely democratic. Russia actually had a very brief moment as a democratic system until Lenin took over.
Leninism argued the only way to achieve communism was through a dictatorship, it was him who won the revolution in the end and him who shaped what socialism is today.
If there had been a socialist party (not Marxist like the style we have today), things could have been radically different.
Your assumptions are based on low knowledge of socialist history as all you've focused on is post-Russian revolution.
Lenin was the reason socialist nations today are always dictatorships... It was him who wrote it into the system. Before that, it was a much more diverse set of thoughts that had no solidified yet.
There was a chance at a genuine socialist democracy.
You cant say socialism in Latin America failed on its own when the United States interfered with every example.
Maybe your selective memory fails you, but communist countries "interfered" with capitalist countries just as much as capitalist countries "interfered" with communist ones, but the capitalist countries weren't so seemingly foundationally weak and frail as they would give way and collapse at this mere prodding as the communist countries seem to manifest. That should tell you everything you need to know about how robust and resilient these communist countries actually were if all it took was a couple of CIA agents to bring the whole facade crumbling down. Imagine how ridiculous and laughable it is the idea of a couple of KBG agents bringing the whole of the US to the brink of collapse. It is disgusting when you infantilize other societies as if all it takes is a couple of CIA agents to undermine their entire country.
So you agree that Latin American socialist countries didn't "fail" on their own? You are infantilizing those same countries by making the ridiculous claim that it was just a couple of CIA agents when it was right wing death squads funded by the sale of arms and drugs.
Lol, so, you're saying a couple of guys with guns brought down an entire country? You're still infantilizing. I implore you to extend to Latin Americans the dignity that they have the ability to mess their own countries up and not perpetually fall back on the "wh!te super!ority" crutch that if anything bad happens in Latin America, it was those "clever cunning wh!te people" that made it all happen. People in Latin America have personal agency, intelligence and abilities themselves, ya know, and are fully capable of making their own mistakes. They are not the helpless, incapable, bumbling fools you make them out to be with your rac!!st assertions, nor are they some pure, godly infallible creatures. They are human, which you don't seem to recognize.
Here's a quote from your earlier comment "rather, you just care about power and using gender and race politics as an opportunistic tool to amass more power"
You are doing the exact thing you accuse others of, pure projection at it's finest. The US spent $6 billion on its intelligence agencies in 1970, more than the GDP of many of those latin american countries. To say it was a couple of guys with guns is so far from the truth that you're just lying at this point.
Socialism, by definition, must be authoritarian. The state takes ownership of private property. Do you think the entirety of the populace who owns private property is going to be thrilled about that?
No, Leninism by definition must be authoritarian.
Most people are not actually well read up on socialist history... Mainly for one BIG reason - they have read next to nothing about pre-Russian revolution socialist history.
First of all, Marxism only formed one tribe within the socialist camp of thought.
There was a whole debate within the socialist camp before Lenin took the reigns of the Russian government about how best to achieve socialism (NOT MARXISM). Many of the factions actually argued for a democratic system, and there was a brief moment during the Russian Revolution that Russia was actually "democratic"...
This was because the major party in control of government was not Marxist and not ran by Lenin. They were groups such as the Mensheviks, and they even allowed private property (just not stuff like healthcare etc), and they vouched for a democratic system to cater to the public.
It was Lenin who directly advocated that a democratic system would revert to capitalism once again and that a strong man must take the reigns to ensure socialism survives and thrives.
His ideology was termed Leninism, and it found its roots in Marxism (who did not directly argue for a dictatorship) and his branch of socialism has been the biggest influence on socialist thought as a result as he won the revolution in the end.
Things would have been very different without Lenin, and there is no certain way of predicting what could have happened
The exact specifics of Leninism are irrelevant to my point. If the state has control and ownership over what would otherwise be private enterprises, the ideology functioning for said state is socialism. Mixing socialist governance with free market principles and a certain amount of private property rights does not remove the fact that state ownership of businesses and firms is being retained.
You're not actually well read up on socialist history or thought.
If you were, you'd know there are variations and differences, and that the socialism you refer to is all but one faction that stems from Leninist-Marxism.
Not all branches of socialist thought argued for total state control of private businesses.
Europe today, also has many countries which publicly own healthcare, education and other similiar institutions. They have not devolved into tyranny - and quite frankly, they even have more socially conservative views than America which follows a different system.
>Not all branches of socialist thought argued for total state control of private businesses.
I literally acknowledged that socialist countries could engage in free market principles. There can still be private property and businesses, but if the state has ownership over businesses that could otherwise be operated privately, it is a socialist or mixed economy state.
>Europe today, also has many countries which publicly own healthcare, education and other similiar institutions.
These institutions are funded via free(ish) market capitalism. The State funds these socialized systems via massive tax campaigns. The system may be 'socialized' but it is propped up by an extreme level of taxation of capitalist enterprise. It's not exactly the best example to mention hyper capitalist countries that use the money made from capitalism in order to fund 'socialized' healthcare, education, etc.
>They have not devolved into tyranny
Perhaps you've not been observing the massive anti lockdown protests that have been going on in Europe and Australia? The severe curtailing of free speech in European countries? The constant erosion of people's privacy and individuality?
You’re wrong but upvoted for being indeed unpopular
Marx laid the foundations for it, so it makes sense to associate them. Lenin was just one of many many many implementations of it. [But hey it wasn't real socialism right?](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Onj4Wx61ps). Why don't we just try it again? [What's the worst that could happen](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZz2HF5KtrY)
In a free society people are capable of setting up their own socialist communes.
I think what’s even more important is that every Socialist “experiment” existed under the threat of total obliteration by threatened Capitalist super powers. Of course they were authoritarian and militaristic, our country was trying to wipe them off the face of the earth. Reminds me of a house I lived where the two people on the lease were ripping everyone off on rent/bills so we had a meeting and they just yelled at us until we dropped the issue and the dude said “there, that’s settled.” It wasn’t.
Either you believe that the US was so powerful it could topple governments around the world by sending a dozen advisors and writing checks of a few million dollars, or you have to accept that governments that take power by force and try to redistribute wealth are both unstable and unpopular and likely to get overthrown sooner rather than later. I know which one makes more sense to me.
I believe that things like the Korean War, the Vietnam War, everything with Cuba, trade embargoes and the threat of nuclear obliteration provided an existential threat to any nations trying Communism/Socialism that prevented the experiment from ever being tried in earnest, yes.
> Korean War
Are you really trying to argue that North Korean tanks crossing the 38th parallel was just a "socialist experiment" that the US should have allowed to continue?
Isn't the most basic concept of socialsm just collective worker ownership of businesses. Marx initially thought it could only be achieved through violence, but gradually started believing it could be achieved more peacefully. I admit I'm not well read on Marx or any socialist writings but that's been my understanding of it.
No, not Socialism as a whole as pre-Russian revolution it was a more fragmented branch of ideologies. Marxism was much more strict on private ownership, then say other branches that allowed it to a certain point, where the looser ones would be that stuff such as healthcare and education should be publicly owned but not a shopkeepers stall.
Leninist-Marxism was the one that really brought full state control under forte, whereas in my opinion, Marx himself didn't really have an adequate way of implementing his ideas (which saw it through developmental stages until it reached communism). It was too idealist and fraught with complications.
Though, in Marx's defence, he wasn't around in the 20th century, so we don't know if he would agree with Lenin. It's also fair to point out the time period Marx was born in, 19th century Capitalism was different to modern society and it was more harsh (For example, Charles Dickens, whom Marx didn't like, wrote a lot about the conditions that the poor lived in). If I am putting my history hat on in favour of my politics hat, I think some of his criticisms was fair given the time period he lived in