The successes of socialism

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The successes of socialism

Post by RedSun on Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:43 pm

I'd like to use this thread as a catalogue of all of the times in history when socialist practices succeeded, both past and present, so that we can draw inspiration (and evidence for debate) from the past and look to getting in contact with the more successful socialists of the present. I'll start.

The Zapatistas have successfully held off the Mexican government for going on two decades now, in a quest to protect the ethnic Mayans of southern Mexico from NAFTA. Their Juntas de Buen Gobierno are an excellent example of highly democratic socialism in practice, and their tactics have successfully exemplified nonviolent revolution.

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Re: The successes of socialism

Post by Celtiberian on Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:58 pm

From 1952 to 1960, socialist Yugoslavia recorded the highest rate of economic growth in the world. Between 1960 and 1980, it ranked third in growth-per-capita among all low- and middle-income countries. Even though the system didn't operate as efficiently or democratically as it could have, there's no doubt that it was successful.

I recently bought Sam Dolgoff's The Anarchist Collectives: Workers' Self-management in the Spanish Revolution, 1936-1939, so I'll write about the performance of anarcho-syndicalism in Spain after I read it. My great-grandfather was an anarchist (who fought in the Spanish Civil War), so I'm quite interested in the history of Spanish syndicalism.

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Re: The successes of socialism

Post by RedSun on Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:36 pm

The kibbutzim of Israel are a series of cooperative enterprises run by communes. They are at once successful from a socialist and from a left-wing nationalist perspective.
On the one hand, their cooperative enterprises are enormously successful (they make up 2.5% of Israel's population and supply 33% of its agriculture) and they successfully raise children who place enormous value on cooperation and work, doing one full day of work per week by high school.
On the other hand, they have successfully not only preserved the traditional culture of the Jews but have also gone through the Old Testament to revive old Jewish cultural practices lost in the diaspora.

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Re: The successes of socialism

Post by RedSun on Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:54 pm

The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China was a notably mixed success. The chaos and violence caused by the undirected masses of revolutionary Red Guards is legendary, but the more carefully directed initiatives were extremely beneficial.
Women were given equal opportunities for employment, and a key part of Chinese propaganda focused on telling women that they could do anything men did, including fight for the revolution.
The number of Chinese youths in school skyrocketed, and peasants were trained as 'barefoot teachers' and sent back to their villages to teach.
A similar program was done with 'barefoot doctors', and a group of Chinese researchers was assigned the task of combing through traditional Chinese medicine to find practices of actual scientific and medical value.
Finally, the practice of 'sending down' urban citizens to the villages made significant progress in breaking down the remaining class divides of mental versus manual labour and urban versus rural proletarian.

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Re: The successes of socialism

Post by Comrade_Joe on Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:45 pm

In my view Stalin was not only the most successful socialist leaders of all time but also perhaps the great political leader in world history. If you compare USSR before and after Stalin you would say that is another country. The fact is that Russia today still lives from the achievements during the Stalin era. I don't see anyone in History who changed so much a country like Stalin did. From a backward country to a superpower on it's way to put a man in space? Not to talk about the victory over nazism in II WW. That is why despite all the bad propaganda against him he was voted as the greatest russian of all time but a governmental interference prevented him and Lenin from being number one and number two respectively.
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Re: The successes of socialism

Post by Rev Scare on Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:01 am

Due to the insufficiency of the NEP and its capitalist nature, it was only a matter of time before the Soviet Union replaced "state capitalism" with a planned economy. Stalin initially supported the NEP but abandoned it upon consolidating power due to a long-standing Bolshevik desire to industrialize and increase the standard of living. His repressive policies and agricultural failures could most certainly have been avoided if more careful analysis and less paranoia ruled the day. Nonetheless, I agree that Stalin certainly made significant contributions to both the development of the USSR and Marxist-Leninist ideology.

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Re: The successes of socialism

Post by Comrade_Joe on Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:04 pm

Rev Scare wrote:Due to the insufficiency of the NEP and its capitalist nature, it was only a matter of time before the Soviet Union replaced "state capitalism" with a planned economy. Stalin initially supported the NEP but abandoned it upon consolidating power due to a long-standing Bolshevik desire to industrialize and increase the standard of living. His repressive policies and agricultural failures could most certainly have been avoided if more careful analysis and less paranoia ruled the day. Nonetheless, I agree that Stalin certainly made significant contributions to both the development of the USSR and Marxist-Leninist ideology.

The agricultural failures resulted from the rapid industrialization undertook by Stalin in the 30's. However, you need to keep in mind Stalin words: "We are 100 years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this lag in ten years. Either we do it, or they crush us!" This means that the rapid industrialization was a necessity at the moment and saved the USSR from the Nazi invasion, that is why we cannot put the blame on Stalin for that from my point of view.

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Re: The successes of socialism

Post by Red Aegis on Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:19 pm

The words of Stalin do not make something true. Explain the situation without relying on Stalin to explain why Stalin was right. If possible, include figures from the time period to make yourself seem more credible instead of appeals to authority.

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Re: The successes of socialism

Post by Comrade_Joe on Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:38 pm

Red Aegis wrote:The words of Stalin do not make something true. Explain the situation without relying on Stalin to explain why Stalin was right. If possible, include figures from the time period to make yourself seem more credible instead of appeals to authority.

You want figures to prove that the Nazis invaded USSR in 1941?
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Re: The successes of socialism

Post by Red Aegis on Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:48 pm

I'm saying that you shouldn't use Stalin as a source for why Stalin behaved in an autocratic manner instead of some other way. Saying that I expect proof for widely known facts is getting close to another straw-man fallacy.

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Re: The successes of socialism

Post by Comrade_Joe on Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:12 pm

Red Aegis wrote:I'm saying that you shouldn't use Stalin as a source for why Stalin behaved in an autocratic manner instead of some other way. Saying that I expect proof for widely known facts is getting close to another straw-man fallacy.

I was just saying that Stalin prediction that USSR would be invaded by a foreign capitalist power was correct and materialized with the Nazi invasion. That's all.
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Re: The successes of socialism

Post by Isakenaz on Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:20 pm

Comrade_Joe wrote:I was just saying that Stalin prediction that USSR would be invaded by a foreign capitalist power was correct and materialized with the Nazi invasion. That's all.

Fair enough and to deflect that capitalist invasion he made alliances with capitalists. How does that work then?
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Re: The successes of socialism

Post by Comrade_Joe on Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:31 pm

Isakenaz wrote:Fair enough and to deflect that capitalist invasion he made alliances with capitalists. How does that work then?

He made a temporary alliance with the countries which had the same enemy. What is the contradiction here? He should have rejected that alliance during the war against the Nazis? Do you think this makes any sense at all?
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Re: The successes of socialism

Post by Vasco Gonçalves on Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:01 pm

Comrade_Joe wrote:He made a temporary alliance with the countries which had the same enemy. What is the contradiction here? He should have rejected that alliance during the war against the Nazis? Do you think this makes any sense at all?

Sorry but Molotov-Ribbentrop isn't alliance since Soviet Union didn't fight USA, UK at that time .
It's more a non agressions pact where the two nations will not attack each other and divide some countrys .
Because Stalin know that he cant trust in Hitler or West we beggin to put divisions and build " aeroports " to prevent of him get attacked with all divisions distant from the border with Nazis

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Re: The successes of socialism

Post by Comrade_Joe on Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:25 pm

Vasco Gonçalves wrote:Sorry but Molotov-Ribbentrop isn't alliance since Soviet Union didn't fight USA, UK at that time .
It's more a non agressions pact where the two nations will not attack each other and divide some countrys .
Because Stalin know that he cant trust in Hitler or West we beggin to put divisions and build " aeroports " to prevent of him get attacked with all divisions distant from the border with Nazis

Vasco, I think he was referring to the alliance with the USA and UK during the World War. I think that everybody knows by now that the Pact of Non-Agression between Hitler and Stalin was not an alliance. Hitler's allies were Italy and Japan. Stalin made the pact of Non-Agression with Hitler just to buy some more time to develop the third five year plan which was aimed to improve the militarization of the country (emphasizing the production of armaments) and prepare its Army for the forthcoming Nazi invasion.
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Re: The successes of socialism

Post by Rev Scare on Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:09 am

Comrade_Joe wrote:The agricultural failures resulted from the rapid industrialization undertook by Stalin in the 30's. However, you need to keep in mind Stalin words: "We are 100 years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this lag in ten years. Either we do it, or they crush us!" This means that the rapid industrialization was a necessity at the moment and saved the USSR from the Nazi invasion, that is why we cannot put the blame on Stalin for that from my point of view.

The agricultural failures were not the result of rapid industrialization but of forced collectivization, ruthless grain requisitioning, and the "liquidation of the kulaks as a class," which were brutal and needless methods for gaining the cooperation of farmers and increasing farm marketing. As stated in my previous post, the Bolsheviks were eager to industrialize the backward Russian economy from the very beginning, and insofar as a highly disproportionate military investment policy was pursued it certainly proved a burden in terms of mounting opportunity costs, particularly limiting the output of consumer goods, but this was not the reason the famines transpired. Military development was well within the bounds of the Soviet production-possibilities curve.

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