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the reason why the dictatorship of the preletariat failed

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Soviet cogitations: 4953
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
Ideology: Other Leftist
Post 13 Apr 2010, 18:34
ok Stalin and Mao, proletariat ok but any others ?

Mao was born into a fairly well off peasent family iirc. It's how he was able to receive a decent education and afford university, which is where he came into contact with Marxism btw. A lot of Communist leaders come from upper class backgrounds. Fidel Castro is another example.
Soviet cogitations: 272
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 22 Feb 2010, 13:54
Post 13 Apr 2010, 19:01
yes fellow comrade that is what i am talking about. should a leader of the proletariat be a proletarian ?
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Soviet cogitations: 5167
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 08 Nov 2007, 06:31
Post 13 Apr 2010, 19:03
The leader of the proletariat should be the proletariat. Power shouldn't be focused in one person.
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Soviet cogitations: 10808
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Post 13 Apr 2010, 21:26
Commie77 wrote:
the fact is most or all communist movements and revolutions where headed by intelligentsia. these intelligentsia came from rich and privileged family's, hell even Marx was rich. The fact is they where not true proletariat. so even though they apparently wanted to help the proletariat the fact is the only person who knows what the proletariat need is the proletariat. It's like the only person who knows himself best is the person itself kind of thing.

I'd suggest reading What Is to Be Done? by Lenin. He made the correct analysis that "history of all countries bears out the fact that through their own powers alone, the working class can develop only a trade-union consciousness." Workers by themselves only see the immediate goals as relevent (bread & butter issues). Workers will form unions and get better wages, working conditions, benefits, ect. but they won't create a movement to transform society. You will get stuck with groups like the American Federation of Labor (AFL) who's motto was "a fair days work for a fair days pay" as opposed to the Industrial Workers of the World's (IWW) slogan "abolish the wage system."

This is because workers slaving away all day at the job (usually) don't have time to theorize about socio-economic systems and are concerned with having a roof over their head, food on the table and providing for their families.

Freire in Pedagogy of the Oppressed wrote:
Indeed, problem-posing education, which breaks with the vertical patterns characteristic of banking education, can fulfil its function as the practice of freedom only if it can overcome the above contradiction. Through dialogue, the teacher-of-the-students and the students-of-the-teacher cease to exist and a new term emerges: teacher-student with students-teachers. The teacher is no longer merely the-one-who-teaches, but one who is himself taught in dialogue with the students, who in turn while being taught also teach. They become jointly responsible for a process in which all grow. In this process, arguments based on “authority” are no longer valid; in order to function, authority must be on the side of freedom, not against it. Here, no one teaches another, nor is anyone self-taught. People teach each other, mediated by the world, by the cognizable objects which in banking education are “owned” by the teacher

Replace "teacher" with the "vanguard party" and "student" with the "masses." The vanguard party doesn't tell the masses that they need socialism, but the vanguard works with the masses to show them the limits of the capitalist system or trade unionism. In response the masses tell the vanguard party what issues are relevent to them. There is now a dialogue between the two groups. But in order for that to happen the intelligentsia or petty bourgeoisie need to come down to the same level as the oppressed. You can't have dialogue with inequality.

"By what standard of morality can the violence used by a slave to break his chains be considered the same as the violence of a slave master?" - Walter Rodney
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Post 13 Apr 2010, 21:29
In socialism the vanguard and the masses merge, so the distinction is metaphysical anyway.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Soviet cogitations: 5437
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Sep 2009, 00:56
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Post 14 Apr 2010, 22:04
Castro was the son of a bourgeois landowner. Not exactly proletariat, but he didn't really grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth either.

Also, Ho Chi Minh was a prole - a cook, baker, prolly a candlestick maker at somepoint too as well.
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Soviet cogitations: 4510
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 16 Apr 2010, 01:43
All Soviet leaders apart from Lenin and Gorbachev (Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov, and Chernenko) had only technical education, if that, when they began to rise through the ranks of the Party. The proletariat really did hold control of the Soviet state, as evidenced by members of the working class working their way up to power having started off with nothing. Lenin worked and acted with knowledge that he gained as a result of his being part of the intelligentsia. Gorbachev is an interesting case though, perhaps supporting Commie77's point to a degree. Educated at the country's most prestigious law school (MSU), he came to have nothing in his mind but the abolition of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the establishment of social democracy. Many if not most of the Soviet intelligentsia supported his political reforms -support which lasted until the 90s when they had to pawn off their typewriters and microscopes and keep their coats on in classrooms that didn't have heating in winter.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
Soviet cogitations: 71
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2013, 07:11
Post 24 Feb 2013, 01:30
commie77 i actually like your question since it is true that neither Marx, Lenin, Engels, nor Trotsky were proletarian. They weren't even working class in any sense. The professional class represents its interests, the proletariat represent theirs. Sometimes, however, the interests of the workers is represented by those who are not workers. This is what happened with the revolution of 1917. The Bolshevik leadership was not from the ranks of the proletariat in 1917. So why do people like Lenin, Marx, and for that matter students at Ucal Berkely(think of the SDS) tend to the problems of those whose interests are not their own? I do not know. You may be right, but many comrades here being dogmatic to the point of it being a catechism, will never ask this question or admit that you might have a point. You see, for many comrades, communism is not a possible organization of society, but the promise land in a religion whose God is Karl Marx, whose scripture is the holy works of the infallible Marx, Lenin, and Engels, that holy trinity, which is the unquestionable font of truth. It is always an interesting question why members of one class, instead of tending to its own garden, feels compelled to represent those of another class.
Soviet cogitations: 71
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2013, 07:11
Post 24 Feb 2013, 20:48
Mabool, you implied although you did not state that Stalin left the seminary because of financial reasons. 1)are you implying that he was interested in becoming a priest at the time of his dismissal, and that but for the finances, he would've done so? 2) what is your source for that? Do you have a source for your belief that Stalin left the seminary primarily for financial reasons? Please provide that source if you have it.
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Soviet cogitations: 2
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 26 May 2013, 16:00
Ideology: Other Leftist
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Post 26 May 2013, 16:10
Human nature prevents a dictatorship of the proletariat from ever working; one man's view on what's best for the people is different to another's, and the fact that once someone assumes so much power, be they bourgeoisie or proletariat, it is unlikely they will ever give it up. This prevents true communism to flower, so I believe Marx's theory needs to be reviewed.
Soviet cogitations: 4
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Jan 2014, 08:44
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 03 Feb 2014, 19:15
I am a communist and fundamentally a Marxist. I just am concerned for the fact that as in the case of the soviet union which was a superpower; after comrade Stalin's initiation of socialism in one country (move towards a complete socialist society), it never seemed to have led towards a stateless society which is the goal of all the communists. I however disagree with the basic concept of Bolshevism and think that the people's revolution cannot be controlled by the proletariat. As it is the overthrow of the bourgeois, the proletariat cannot certainly act as a neo-bourgeois. Bolshevism can lead to a phase where the dictatorship can be called fascist not communist. Hence the proletariat should be as big as its people, in any case that does not happen ; the question of equality is not answered and the revolution shall cease to exist.
Soviet cogitations: 54
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 May 2014, 02:13
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Post 19 May 2014, 04:30
The Dictatorship of the Proletariat (you didn't spell it correctly) failed because Gorbachev and Social Democrat/Revisionists like him collasped the government of the Soviet Union from within and caused capitalism to take hold in all the other Socialist countries in Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.
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Soviet cogitations: 260
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Dec 2011, 00:54
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Post 19 May 2014, 16:24
RedGeek wrote:
The Dictatorship of the Proletariat (you didn't spell it correctly) failed because Gorbachev and Social Democrat/Revisionists like him collasped the government of the Soviet Union from within and caused capitalism to take hold in all the other Socialist countries in Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.

This. Hear Hear RedGeek.

Also, The withering away of state is not possible while external Threats remain.

The USSR Population was drastically reduced by both World Wars and the Civil War so decentralisation was not on the cards until that issue was resolved.

Never mind the fact that resource development and Infrastructure was still ongoing.
"A shiny bauble from Capitalism is worthless when the cost is Children & the Elderly going hungry, The Infirm & Sick dying because of Greed & Education reduced to a token few to placate the masses with Illusions of freedom."
Soviet cogitations: 54
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 May 2014, 02:13
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Post 21 May 2014, 03:23
I'm going to bring up another angle to this conversation/discussion. I have discussed soley my position on why the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and all other Marxist-Leninist nations of the world collasped in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

However. The People's Republic of China also reverted to Market Capitalism in the late 1970s. Why is this? To understand this we need to look at the nature of the Communist Party of China around the time of Mao Zedong's death. The Cultural Revolution wasn't successful in ousting Capitalist Roaders from the Party. This is not only clear in retrospect but was also clear back then when Lin Baio attempted to perform a coup against Mao shortly before his death in 1971. The power then went back to Mao and Premier Zhou Enlai. However the two grew weaker with age and so new potential leaders started to emerge in the CPC. These included the Gang of Four (Jiang Qing and her supporters) Hua Guofeng (a new member of the Party who Mao had officially designated as his successor) and Deng Xiaoping (the capitalist roader who did end up taking power).

The Gang of Four found that their popularity in the CPC was extremely low and that the Party wasn't going to allow them to succeed Mao in leadership of China. Hua that succession should be dealt with as it had been in the past, that is the vice chairman should succeed the chairman until the next session of the Central Committee. Hua also had support from many people including the defence minister Ye Jianuang

This resulted in an abortive coup. The plan was to take the power by force from the government and assassinate some of the politburo members including Hua Guofeng and Ye Jianuang.The Gang of Four finally went on trial, Jiang and Zhang initially received the death sentence but this was then changed to life imprisonment, Wang received life imprisonment as well and finally Yao received 20 years imprisonment.

At this point it looked like Hua Guofeng was going to become the leader of the CPC. Guofeng occupied the the three offices of Premier, Chairman of the CPC and Military simultaniously having gotten all these positions legally and with support from Mao and the Party. Hua Guofeng was a real Marxist-Leninist-Maoist in my opinion. While I disagree with many aspects of Maoism he was infinitely better than Deng Xiaoping. However a critical mistake was made when Deng was reinstated by Hua to the politburo and was made vice-chairman of the Central Committee once again (he had been purged from the party for Reactionary and counter-revolutionary revisionism before). This was a crucial mistak as it lead allowed Deng to become a powerful economic and military force in the CPC. Under his leadership the CPC linked Hua to the crimes of the Gang of Four and he was condemned. At this point he was forced to resign and although he remained a minor part of the CPC untill 2002 Deng had essentially taken over.

We can notice a few major things about the rise of Market-Capitalism and Revisionism in the People's Republic of China.
1: Following the condemnation and elimination of the Gang of Four, the Maoist Hua Guofeng had large support from the CPC central commitee, occupied the three highest positions of the Party Government and Military having legally aquired all and having been supported by Mao as the next leader in the CPC.
2: Deng Xiaping had been been purged from the party for being a Capitalist Roader and it was well known that this was what he was.
3: Deng was pardoned and brought back by Hua who was then outmanuevered and forced out by Deng.
4: The CPC accepted and even supported his de-facto rise to power and supported him in Market Reforms.

This is important as it shows that the transition of leaders in the vanguard Party is often how Revisionism takes hold. After Chernenko's death in 1985 Gorbachev successfully destroyed the USSR with market Capitalism and Revisionism. After Mao's death in 1976 a single popular capitalist roader was brought back by a Maoist leader. Note that if Hua Guang had managed to remain in power untill his retirement in 2002 it's likely that China would still be following a Marxist-Leninist line today.
Soviet cogitations: 54
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 May 2014, 02:13
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Post 21 May 2014, 03:47
I would also like to delve deeper into some myths surrounding the dissolution of the Sovet Union. First off, it's widely believed that the reason Gorbachev instituted Market-Capitalist reforms and altered the political institutions of the USSR was because the Soviet Economy was in a state of severe economic reccesion and stagnation because Planned Economies don't work.

This is quite simply false. The Annual Soviet GNP growth rate had been slowing down in the 1965-1985 period but this was because Alexei Kosygin under the leadership of Lenoid Brezhnev instituted a number of Market reforms even before Gorbachev begining in 1965. Despite this the Soviet GNP still grew at a moderate and somewhat respectable pace (2.7% is still not a recession let alone stagnation). Also the numbers in the above image for 1981-1991 are somewhat skewed by the fact that the while the economic growth was high in the early 80s, somewhat slow/moderate in the mid-late 80s and outright collasping in 1990/1991. Here are the actual statistics.

In 1986 Gorbachev inherited a strong annual GNP growth rate of 4.1% an internal debt of just 20% of GDP and budget deficit of just 2.4% of GDP.
In 1987 when Gorbachev's market reforms began to kick in annual GNP growth dropped to just 1.3%, the Internal debt was now 22% of GDP and the budget deficit as a percent of GDP was now at 6.4%
In 1988 the GNP growth was slightly up at 2.1% (although half of what they were when he took office), the Internal debt had shot up to 36% of GDP and the budget deficit had risen to 8.8%.
In 1989 the GNP growth rate was back down to 1.5% the internal debt was now spiralling out of control at 43% and the budget deficit stood at 11% of GDP (9 times what it originally was!)

This was all relatively minor compared to what followed.
By 1990 the GNP growth was at -12% (negative twelve percent!) the budget deficit was at 14% of GDP and the Internal Debt figures where unavailible.
By 1991 things had only gotten worse. GNP growth was at -13% and the budget deficit was at 20% of GDP. [2]

It was Capitalism, not Socialism that killed Socialism.

[1] ... cle02.html
[2] Oliver, Michael J.; Aldcroft, Derek Howard (2007). Economic Disasters of the Twentieth Century
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