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Commenting article: Boyko Borisov and His Ministers Fiddle ... as Bulgaria Falls Apart!

#46
DP - 31 Mar 2011 // 02:55:55

"I know people that have worked for "socialist/communist" organizations in the west.
These organizations claim to be working for "democratic socialism", however they all exhibit the same characteristics as Leninist/Stalinist/etc Communist regimes."

Mihail,

Don't know what kind of organizations you have in mind but democratic communism is an oxymoron. Eastern Europeans were living under the system of Dictatorship of the Proletariat"--clearly not a democratic system. It was a very ironic situation because all of the countries had incorporated the Democratic Republic in their official name while , in fact, were bonafide dictatorships.

#47
Mihail - 31 Mar 2011 // 03:12:49

I agree. Let me just clarify one thing.

Firstly, so called communist states never considered themselves communist, they considered themselves socialist working towards communism. Correct me if I'm wrong on this.

I am talking about democratic socialism, not communism. The organizations I speak of call themselves "Marxist". Because of the utter failure of dictatorial socialism, they have tried to save their ideas, but reform them to comply with western liberalism.

So they hold the belief that the economic system envisaged by Marx can be put into practice in a democratic system. This idea is not new, and is very popular among social scientists.

Indeed some social and human sciences are monopolized by a Marxist point of view, you cannot publish without working through Marxist theories. Anything from social policy to linguistics.

#48
Mihail - 31 Mar 2011 // 03:18:40

I forgot to mention that socialism is necessarily dictatorial. This is pretty obvious, I think the best argument is provided by Hayek's "The road to serfdom".

#49
DP - 31 Mar 2011 // 04:28:16

Mihail,

“Firstly, so called communist states never considered themselves communist, they considered themselves socialist working towards communism. Correct me if I'm wrong on this.”

You are right. However this is somewhat a gray area you are touching on. It is true that they were in the “transitional stage” of moving towards the state of communism, but the Party was called Communists; the members of the Party were calling themselves communists; and the situation was evaluated regularly at the Communists Party congresses. There was a moment when on one of the congresses it was declared that the communism was almost achieved, lol.

“I am talking about democratic socialism, not communism. The organizations I speak of call themselves "Marxist". Because of the utter failure of dictatorial socialism, they have tried to save their ideas, but reform them to comply with western liberalism.”

This is even more ridiculous than what I was describing. Pure Marxism is based on Karl Marx’s theory based on Dialectical Materialism, classless society, proletarian revolution, etc… No? It is utopia which can’t be achieved. It was Lenin who made some revisions and developed the strategy for make it possible.

“So they hold the belief that the economic system envisaged by Marx can be put into practice in a democratic system. This idea is not new, and is very popular among social scientists.”

The economic system envisaged by Marx is based on the principle of “From everybody according to his ability, and to everybody according to his needs”. Achieving that requires the impossible—asking people to behave against their nature: no greed, social consciousness to perfection, no individualism, etc…. To overcome this problem was created the idea of “reeducation”( brainwashing). Socialism similar to the Western European model which does not reject capitalism can functions in a democratic system. But it has nothing to do with Marxist’s economic system.

“Indeed some social and human sciences are monopolized by a Marxist point of view; you cannot publish without working through Marxist theories. Anything from social policy to linguistics.”

I agree. It’s a pity…

#50
Mihail - 31 Mar 2011 // 05:21:22

"There was a moment when on one of the congresses it was declared that the communism was almost achieved, lol. "

This is what the EU does now. One guy says "We have successfully completed the 5-year plan with x% increase and y% decrease", then mindless "Euorpean representatives" applaud themselves.

"It was Lenin who made some revisions and developed the strategy for make it possible."
True, and like anything it has been revised many times and evolved.
It is true, most of these people call themselves "Marxist-Leninist", but I didn't want to say that because people might think I was characterizing them as being totalitarian or sympathetic to the Lenin regime.

"Socialism similar to the Western European model which does not reject capitalism can functions in a democratic system. But it has nothing to do with Marxist’s economic system."
There are two points. The first is the definition of socialism. From my point of view, that is defined by Marx as a transitional state towards communism. The looser definition is more or less a welfare state with redistribution of wealth and a market economy, and that obviously exists.
The other point is that even though this may be the case (with the looser "socialism"), proponents of so called "democratic socialism" ARE calling for a move towards a Marx-like socialism.

#51
hercules - 31 Mar 2011 // 07:48:15

Hi Mihail,

Was it this simple why it failed ?

Behind the Scenes of the Revolution
The failure, purpose, and results behind the rise and fall of the world Soviet empire can be explained easily, it just depends where one starts. There is not a single reason, but multiple reasons combined together. The original socialist revolution in “Red October” 1917, was a time of glorious ambitions. The workers in the cities revolted and took control in a true proletarian style uprising. The only problem was, it was in the cities. Russia, back then, was a terribly backward nation; nationalist, poor, weak from WWI, starving, and refusing any sort of outside influence or changes. In other words, its wheel of history was halted in Feudalism, and capitalism seemed impossible to develop in Russia due to the Tsar’s stubbornness. And thus, with no capitalism, no socialism can ever appear. Over 90% of the nation was compromised of peasants, with the workers actually being a minority, not a majority. Thus the resulting dictatorship of the proletariat was actually another elite rule like under the aristocracy, and even that soon degenerated into party-rule of a mere one or two percent. Workers in the cities enjoyed slight benefits, while the peasants starved and died. A Socialist nation is not supposed to have peasants; capitalisms purpose is to convert them all into workers first, as they migrate from their villages into cities in search of jobs and money. But this was not the case in Russia – explaining why the peasants lived in such terrible conditions – the state simply didn’t know what to do with them. Thus the doom of the Leninist Republic was already ensured before the first banner was raised. Socialism could not be created from a feudal society, where the blockades of a peasant class, religion, traditions, loyalty to ones village, not to mankind, and personal not social production existed. Yet the whole experiment only worsened when Joseph Stalin grabbed the reigns of power in the late 1920’s.

#52
Mihail - 31 Mar 2011 // 08:10:23

Hi hercules,

Of course the reasons behind the failure of the soviet system are complex.
But in my opinion what you are alluding to is far from the most important issue, your argument can be used to conclude that any system in Russia would have failed.

I think the system as a concept is founded on inconsistencies and fallacies about history and human nature. To prove this I can point to numerous stupidities of the regime, Lenin outlawed money for a brief period, then very quickly they realized that was stupid.
The communist ideologies mistakes have been documented in thousands of works.

It has nothing to do with the underdevelopment of Russia, look at countries like Poland, Germany, Czechoslovakia, they were not like Russia, but had experienced huge capitalist growth and met all the conditions Marx put out for the success of communism.
The shortages and lack of variety were not due to anything but the economic system.

I think the main reason that the USSR as a political entity turned capitalist was due to the KGB's effort. They engineered the collapse and profited greatly. Look up the last head of the KGB and his profiteering from the export of Russia's gold.
This thing happened in Bulgaria too under the DC.

The USSR could have kept on repressing the people for much longer.

#53
hercules - 31 Mar 2011 // 08:27:28

DP
In reply to you’re posting about various things I believe we have exhausted the subject of brainwashing and it’s connotations. I still see a parent or peer forcing their views on a venerable child, as even worse than your example of life under an Autocracy.

I did know that Stalin was born in Georgia and used the term” his own people” as a reference to the USSR, which he ruled over and the atrocities that were committed.

Regarding the degree of education that people received under the Stalinist rule in Bulgaria, is only from my own experiences and I’m sure open to lots of conjecture.

My reference to not being able to choose our parents was nothing to do with the class struggle, but in reply to your remarks about my epithet… Hercules. It’s not easy being a demigod!

#54
DrFaust - 31 Mar 2011 // 09:41:49

"You avoid people that think differently and you call them "ignorant" and "idiots"."

Alternatively you can correct the typos of those people, like Professor Mihail does. But he is entitled to do so, since he is not a real man.

LOL

#55
Mihail - 31 Mar 2011 // 10:08:40

"I still see a parent or peer forcing their views on a venerable child, as even worse than your example of life under an Autocracy."

Depends on what "forcing" is used. Surely the disapproval and economic sanctions a parent uses are not comparable to the fear of torture or death a regime uses.

#56
hercules - 31 Mar 2011 // 10:33:48

Depends on what "forcing" is used. Surely the disapproval and economic sanctions a parent uses are not comparable to the fear of torture or death a regime uses.

A child that is born into an Islamic fundamentalist family, may end up with a similar fate !

#57
Mihail - 31 Mar 2011 // 10:45:10

I agree.

Though, in some states there are laws to protect that child from such force. So I guess this comparison state vs. parents can't really be defined properly.
Needless to say the state has more power than the parents always.

#58
hercules - 31 Mar 2011 // 12:42:06

Mihail,

Of course the reasons behind the failure of the soviet system are complex.
But in my opinion what you are alluding to is far from the most important issue, your argument can be used to conclude that any system in Russia would have failed.

Interesting insight- thanks

#59
DP - 31 Mar 2011 // 17:23:48

hercules,

I did not take your reference to not being able to choose our parents as one to class struggle; but I did not catch the connections with my remark about your epithet either—I made it far back…The "class struggle" was a veiled sarcasm that had to do with my gripe with this concept…

P.S. Just like to remark on one of your statements: clearly you find the October Revolution of 1917 as a glorious event. I couldn’t disagree more. It was a tragic, bloody, regressive historical mishap. And it was very inspiring and grandiose as shown in the movie Bronenosetsa Potemkin--due to the artistic genius of Eisenstein… The Russian people deserved better future than the one they had to endure for far too long…

One last word about brainwashing: remember Pavlik Morozov? This is what I call a brainwashed communist hero. Nothing sacred but the Communists State--a shiny example to all kids...

#60
hercules - 31 Mar 2011 // 18:27:47

P.S. Just like to remark on one of your statements: clearly you find the October Revolution of 1917 as a glorious event. I couldn’t disagree more. It was a tragic



DP
This is what I wrote verbatum

The original socialist revolution in “Red October” 1917, was a time of glorious ambitions. The workers in the cities revolted and took control in a true proletarian style uprising.

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