Morals, Dignity and Revolution

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Morals, Dignity and Revolution

Post by Coach on Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:26 pm

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/06/20/everything_you_think_you_know_about_the_collapse_of_the_soviet_union_is_wrong?page=0,0

Though this is a neo-conservative journal, the author does raise an interesting point about morals, human dignity and revolution.

What do you think about what this author is suggesting?

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Re: Morals, Dignity and Revolution

Post by Celtiberian on Thu Jun 23, 2011 10:54 pm

As you mentioned, this is a very biased article. I would add that it's also incredibly misleading.

It's true, an appreciable percentage of the Russian population was dissatisfied with the Soviet system—this can mainly be attributed to the excesses of Stalinism, the overly bureaucratic and inefficient nature of the economy, the lack of an independent media, and rampant political corruption within the nomenklatura (incidentally, many of these same characteristics can also be observed within our contemporary liberal democratic capitalist regimes as well). However, it's utterly false to suggest that the masses of Soviet citizens sought to replace state socialism with capitalism (which Mr. Aron does in the article).

As David Kotz proved in his excellent book, Revolution From Above: The Demise of the Soviet System, at the time of Russia's transition to capitalism, well over 60% of the Soviet citizenry staunchly opposed the notion of introducing capitalism to Russia—it had to be imposed on them, as the title indicates, "from above." After the disaster that ensued from Boris Yeltsin's market "shock therapy," the nation was in such an uproar that Yeltsin literally had to suspend parliamentary procedures out of fear he'd be deposed and the nation would revert to state socialism. Furthermore, a Vtsiom Institute poll conducted in 2002 (eleven years after Russia's experiment with capitalism) found that nearly 70% of Russian citizens "regretted the union's disappearance." The participants further claimed that the Soviet Union was "better suited to fostering people's social and economic growth." The same results can be found in virtually every country of the former Eastern bloc, leading one to the obvious conclusion that as much as state socialism failed the Easter European people, capitalism has failed them far worse.

As to the actual thesis of this piece, which is apparently related to the idea of how morality and human dignity are prime factors which influence revolutionary fervor, I happen to agree with the author's view on the matter to some extent—it was just a little difficult to find that view amidst all of the bourgeois propaganda and disinformation contained in the article.

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