• @Barbarian
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    1 month ago

    Are the concepts of freedom and working towards collective good so mutually exclusive?

    Not necessarily, and I also disagree with the commenter above that without the USA suddenly the world would be singing kumbaya.

    The problem was dictators seizing power in turbulent times. In Russia, Stalin abolished the soviets (A.K.A worker’s councils, kinda like mega unions) in the Soviet union. I think that says a lot.

    In Romania (I’m a bit better equipped to talk about this one), things were a bit different.

    The original communist government (1945) was essentially a Russian puppet state that drained the wealth of Romania via war reparations. Stalinist purges happened often during this period.

    During the 1950s and early 1960s, Romania got a degree of independence and things were actually looking up. Society in general (infant mortality, gender equality, literacy, standard of living, etc) were all improving rapidly without Russia draining us and making decisions for us, and we didn’t have a surveilance state of the scale that would come later. This was a period marked by political battles between the liberal communists and the Stalinist communists for control, with Stalinists commiting some pretty horrible atrocities (if you want nightmare fuel for some reason, look up the Pitesti experiment).

    Then, 1965, Ceacescu took power. During his early years, he actually looked like a liberal (EDIT: Just to be clear: I mean a liberal communist. This means more individual freedom for citizens in a communist economy). He allowed some emigration, some free speech, and even spoke out about the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia. This, at the start, did not look like a typical authoritarian communist state. Unfortunately, Inspired by the “amazing” society of North Korea in 1971, he started to make changes in the structure of society to be more like it, which included an expanded Securitate. 2 years later, harsh austerity policies to repay foreign loans led to a massive drop in living conditions, which led to riots, which led to crackdowns. Things rapidly spiralled, and the Securitate were given more and more power to keep control.

    This then became the police state that everybody thinks of when they think of communism. A combination of too much power in 1 person’s hands, an authoritarian imperialist overlord (Russia), and rising backlash against dropping living conditions.

    • @[email protected]
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      11 month ago

      In Russia, Stalin abolished the soviets (A.K.A worker’s councils, kinda like mega unions) in the Soviet union.

      Are you referring to the constitution of 1936, which established 4 layers of representative councils (local, regional, national, union) as Stalin dissolving the Soviets?

      1. why do you think that is worse

      2. why do you blame it on Stalin? Seems like a thing that was written and implemented pretty democratically.

      • @Barbarian
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        11 month ago

        No, I’m not talking about the 1936 constitution. I meant specifically the disempowerment of local and union soviets.

        I’m no expert on Russian history, so I may be misinformed about this, but as far as I understand it he put in place a series of reforms that stripped power from the local level and empowered the central committee.

        • @[email protected]
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          fedilink
          11 month ago

          Shifted power in the sense of the local branches were federated within the same structure now, but honestly that seems more accountable and democratic?

        • @[email protected]
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          11 month ago

          This is partially true. Issues arose from trying to marry central planning with localized production, so there were a series of reforms that shifted the balance of control. This didn’t end worker representation, it was a major shift that changed its form as the USSR industrialized and grew beyond where it once was.

          Was it perfect and entirely democratic? No. Was it far more democratic than Capitalism? Absolutely, without question.

    • Citizen
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      -31 month ago

      “we didn’t have a surveilance state of the scale that would come later”

      For all of you that preach communism please make an imagination exercise just for a minute and imagine what kind of Authoritarianism you ask for when you will have a neverseen kind of Technological Communism, using current available surveillance technology (in place) like your smartphone for example (which I know a lot of people don’t know what is its real use…)

      *Multumesc Tovarasi!