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60TrenchesGone Donating Member (60 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-14-07 08:28 PM
Original message
A Tribute to Communism
Run time: 05:23
Posted on YouTube: May 12, 2007
By YouTube Member:
Views on YouTube: 0
Posted on DU: May 15, 2007
By DU Member: 60TrenchesGone
Views on DU: 1269
Interesting/controversial short film on one hand because it's causing a lot of debate around some places online. There's a lot of heated comments between people arguing about whether or not communism is inherently a bad idea or why so many people died living under it.

In my opinion, you can look at this video in 2 ways it seems:

1) A biased film to play up capitalism and rightist sentiment against a paper tiger of communism that was never ever really a threat to anyone. I don't know how true the claims about millions being killed are, and I find it hard to believe that governments would just exterminate 25-30% of their populations.

2) Or on a larger level if the lesson of mass murder at the hands of government presented in the movie is taken as true, then it could be a warning for how dangerous it is to let murderous power mongers control every level of government and control the national discourse.

I understand the optimism and hope of communism. But I also have learned first hand how dangerous it is to let one power hungry group control the government. Any government.

What do you think?
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-14-07 08:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. Communism is clearly an abject failure
As practiced it was brutal dictatorships and a failure economically. The death in its name almost inumberable.

Those who claim that Cuba/USSR/PRC/etc is not *true* communism are yet to show how *true* communism is obtainable in this life/on this planet. The new socialist man is as elusive as the missing link or honesty in politics.

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lvx35 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-14-07 08:51 PM
Response to Original message
2. I think its the same old shit.
Oligarcy, mass oppression under the banner of communism.

I have studied these thing to some extent. First of all, the mass deaths are true. I have meet descendants of the Ukrainian collectivization and heard the stories of cannibalism and so forth. Special note should go to the Great Leap Forward, which demonstrated the massive incompetence of closed dictatorships. People had to blow sunshine up Mao's ass to stay alive, but he wasn't trying to kill 30 million. Also US role should be considered in the rise of the Khmer Rouge.

Now that said, I think you really have to look at what's actually happening in these places and contrast it to Marx's ideals. When you do, the contradictions will begin to come out. Then you have to face the simple fact that ideals are abused by propaganda machines all the time, and this has nothing to do with the ideals.

Take Democracy. I am a big fan of it. But look at our efforts in Iraq, supposedly to "bring democracy". Yet the majority of people (The DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY OF PEOPLE) in Iraq would like us leave, yet we stay, shooting and bombing them supposedly in an attempt to install the type of government where the Democratic majority rules!!!

Its all obviously nonsense. So are the "Communist" governments who shoot kill gas disappear and starve their people "For the People ". Who take away all the food in a society that's based on the communist ideal of sharing.

At some point we need to stop accepting the murderers alibi and blaming it, stop listening to what the murderer is saying, be it democracy, communism, etc and start looking at what the murderer is doing.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-14-07 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Yes, it was the SOS.
The problem with communism is that it requires the consent of almost all the governed--you can't impose communism on people. The only way a communal system's survived is when those participating all believed in its ideals--whether a temporary set-up until the true believers start to die off or if it came with a way for dissenters to leave and new participants sign up.

It's easier to impose democracy--that just requires that most people agree to it, and the remaining folk don't go around killing the others. Installing a *liberal* democracy is harder.

The raskulachivanie (dekulakization?) was a great example of class-hatred, as though we needed more examples. I catch whiffs of that kind of attitude around here from time to time. Dictatorship is dictatorship, whether of the proletariat or otherwise.
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lvx35 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Yeah, those problems persist with the core economic model
but with flexibility, they disappear. If you look at the CPC in China, you see a communist government that is large and in charge, authoritarian, and surpassing us in economic performance, and still executing more people than any government on earth. I worry that the original economic model may be the only flaw from a performance perspective.

But really, I agree with your last point. Hatred in general; when is that last time anything good came of it? All the great works of government I admire seem to have a focus on creation, not destruction.
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-14-07 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
4. The Russian figures are those generally accepted; some
argue for lower, some for higher; but the number's pretty much pegged since we got access to the files. Even claims once thought fairly outrageous for the Soviet Far East were pretty much spot on.

I think the China numbers are a bit higher than the consensus; but they're certainly claimed.

And, yes, the Soviet government annihilated a reasonably large chunk of its population. If you were even slightly well off before the Revolution you were punished, as were your kids and even grandkids that hadn't yet been born; if you were a good communist, but wealthy, you managed to survive until Stalin. After the civil war, the economy was in ruins; Lenin instituted a New Economic Plan that looked remarkably capitalistic; and then once the capitalists rebuilt the economy, the NEPmen were seized, property nationalized, and then they were killed. If you could farm and owned land and animals, you were killed; your land was seized by those that couldn't farm, and your animals eaten (sounds remarkably like Zimbabwe ... Mugabe didn't learn a lesson, he decided to repeat it). If you had food it had to go to the cities--the Soviet Revolution was not an agrarian, but an industrial, revolution: If a farmer had food for his family, he was shot as a traitor for failing to feed the important folk. Then, when the famine was over, Stalin added to Lenin's concentration camps, and kept on adding. Truly astonishing. But, you see, it was *right*, it was *necessary*, it was being done for the good of the *people* (but not for the good of people), so that the country could reach its Bright Future.

The first post on YouTube said communism failed because people are selfish. Too true; but the Soviet attempts to create a New Socialist Man failed. The workers were selfish; the capitalists were selfish (but, as it turned out, less selfish than the communists, and also somewhat less hateful); the "pure communists" were selfish and vindictive.

As for not being a danger, the Russians were. China, less so. And N. Korea, apart from their forced reunification attempt, is just insane.
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 06:28 AM
Response to Original message
6. The sins of the biggest monopolies in history.
One of the inherent flaws of revolutionary communism was that in sweeping away all aspects of the old order, it also removed all impediments to consolidating power at the top, and the type of people who are geared toward seizing power by revolution are rarely the type who will be content to share power once they win.

And as hard as it for you to believe it, the numbers given are generally accurate.
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60TrenchesGone Donating Member (60 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. That's interesting...
To describe the communist ideology as a monopoly. In a sense it is automatically every kind of monopoly. It controls every single company in the nation and if any national monopoly seized power we'd automatically be very concerned. And with a monopoly on power along with business it's no surprise that such abuse follows. Interesting perspective.
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JHB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-16-07 06:21 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. I thought so too (wish I could take credit for it)...
Edited on Wed May-16-07 06:22 AM by JHB
I wish I could recall where I picked it up, but I, too, was intrigued when I read the line somewhere "The sins of the Soviet Union were those of the world's largest and most complete monopoly."

But it doesn't actually describe "communist ideology"; ideology is (arguably) irrelevant to the point: the de facto structure of governments that claimed "communist" or "revolutionary socialist" underpinnings was that of company towns (where the company was the Party). Without any countervailing centers of power to act as checks and balances, and no effective measures of holding the leadership accountable to the rank and file, abuses and atrocities of appalling scale were inevitable.
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murdoch Donating Member (658 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
8. The video is full of BS
The video is full of false statements. One is that "The Khmer Rouge seized power in 1975". For one thing, there is no such thing as the Khmer Rouge - it is a phrase invented in the West, like Viet Cong or the like. Also, the "KR", whoever they are, did not take over Cambodia in 1975. Cambodia was taken over in 1975 by Prince Sihanouk, the ruler who had been ousted in a US backed coup d'etat in 1970. The idea that 30% of the Cambodian population was killed by communists is laughable, the most fervently anti-communist Cambodian scholars don't quote a figure that high.

I know a bit about Cambodia, and it seems to me that people in the US don't seem to have a rational reaction to Cambodia communists, but an emotional one. It is kind of a yellow peril thing, I personally feel it is a transference of feelings about the Vietnamese onto their neighbors. When you talk about Cambodian history instead of this weird propaganda, you're accused of being a closet Pol Pot lover.

And of course, if the Cambodian communists were so evil - why did Reagan buddy up with the "Khmer Rouge" in the 1980s? Well, when I put it that way, maybe they were bad guys...

While I know more about Cambodia than the other stuff, the end has a supposed quote from Stalin - "Millions of deaths are a statistic". Well, if this is a quote, where is it quoted from? The answer is nowhere, it is one of those apocryphal quotes. Of course this isn't to say that the government Stalin headed didn't kill scores of adult males in Ukraine who had the misfortune at the time of being ethnic Poles, he did. But why not just say that instead of inventing quotes?
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Redstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-15-07 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Unfucking believable. You're defending the KHMER ROUGE? I've seen some astonishingly
Edited on Tue May-15-07 08:55 PM by Redstone
bizarre defenses of indefensible people here on DU, but this is by FAR the least believable, and most utterly revolting.

You'll ONLY label them "bad guys" because "Reagan buddied up with them?"

Hey, I'd love to hear what you have to day about Idi Amin. Was HE "misunderstood," too?

I cannot believe that I am actually seeing an apologist for those murderous, genocidal bastards on DU.

Excuse me, I'm going to go vomit now.

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