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The Great Construction Projects of Communism

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Soviet cogitations: 16
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 17 Nov 2011, 12:25
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 29 Jun 2015, 09:02
What do people on here think of them? Were they just Pharaohonic extravagances that wasted meagre resources that could've been put towards housing and such, or did they serve a genuine practical purpose?
Soviet cogitations: 12389
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
Ideology: None
Philosophized
Post 30 Jun 2015, 07:58
They were intended to show the triumph of the New Soviet Man in all fields, architecture as surely as agrarian.

To my mind, they're a bit pretentious and overdone, especially as they conform more to the Western style than to classic Russo-Byzantine style. But that's to be expected, since they represent a conscious repudiation of the medieval past, in art as in practice.

Think of them in the same manner as Justinian's various building projects as described by Procopius, only updated to fit the needs of the new regime.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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Soviet cogitations: 4764
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Jul 2007, 06:59
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Forum Commissar
Post 12 Aug 2015, 07:28
I think great public works are more often than not positive, in that they give a lasting monument, stir the imagination, create public spaces that are often necessary and give higher ambitions for other collective projects. These are things where centralized planning exceeds, and it is common of progressive, not just Soviet or communist governments. Just look at Mexico City's murals and government or university buildings or at Brasilia.
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Soviet cogitations: 4796
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Feb 2004, 11:09
Ideology: Other Leftist
Central Committee
Post 14 Aug 2015, 04:32
From my experience here in the Tea Party era and its effects on local government, there are some things that deserve more attention. I don't believe that you should just throw up cheap, pole barns to house public offices and warehouses, you should build something that will last a bit longer and serve to show unique aspects of local or shared culture (within reason).

You have to find a good balance. Things like the Kremlin or the the Capital Building SHOULD be special buildings, not just cheaply constructed, efficient structures.

That being said, not every school administration building or county courthouse needs to be built to be particularly special.
Soviet cogitations: 12389
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
Ideology: None
Philosophized
Post 14 Aug 2015, 08:53
I'd argue that construction projects under Socialism should be sturdy, ecologically sound, and energy/cost efficient.

From my own point of view, I personally don't need any more than that.

A building should be as big as it needs to be in order to accomplish its intended purpose. Under Socialism, we shouldn't need to awe the pants off the peons or our enemies. The skyline of East Berlin or any other post-1945 East Bloc city was perfectly acceptable to me.

Of course, there are plenty of people who enjoy being overawed by great works of art and architecture. Many people become converts to a cause based solely on its ability to manifest projects of this sort.

Since these people will form the great majority of the population at the time when/if Socialism becomes more than a misapplication of grammar by Bernie Sanders, I suppose concessions must inevitably be made.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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Soviet cogitations: 4796
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Feb 2004, 11:09
Ideology: Other Leftist
Central Committee
Post 15 Aug 2015, 16:16
Comrade Gulper wrote:
I'd argue that construction projects under Socialism should be sturdy, ecologically sound, and energy/cost efficient.


I'll take this statement, and tell you that critics of government in the United States right now (Tea Party dipshits, mainly) don't even care about Sturdy, Ecologically sound and energy efficient. They only care about cost. They'd prefer to see pole barns without proper heat and AC. At least your mindset isn't totally "whatever costs the least" like theirs.

It's a very aggravating mindset to live with as a public servant, and part of the reason why I got out of that shit. They don't have complete control, but governments are doing things to appease them, and it's terrible planning for the future. The city I worked in was growing, and the new building they were constructing for my office reduced work spaces and was only planning for existing employees, no additions. That fundamentally makes no sense when a city is actively growing... They should have been looking 20-60 years into the future to determine space needs.
Soviet cogitations: 12389
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
Ideology: None
Philosophized
Post 16 Aug 2015, 10:01
You raise a fair point, Sci. Of course all public buildings should be safely/ecologically constructed with future growth in mind.

But, when it comes to aesthetics, I prefer function over fashion.

What I hate above all is the idea of public/civic buildings being used for bragging rights, i.e., Hitler's marble abominations or Turkmenbashi's solid gold stupidity.

I'd rather have a plain steel and concrete structure that will last for 1,000 years and will advertise their purpose to all comers in a simple and direct fashion: "This is where you go to file court documents."

If Socialism means getting rid of the Great Man, then we may as well go the extra mile and get rid of the Ego Mausoleum as well.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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