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Are there still any socialist countries today?

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Do socialist countries still exist?

Yes
23
74%
No
6
19%
Other
2
6%
 
Total votes : 31
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 564
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Jun 2010, 16:09
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 22 May 2012, 21:33
Quote:
It comes into existence through a politically conscious working class acting as a class for itself, in control of the means of production in a democratic society.


That's more so Communism. Socialism still has an established govt. that has a lot of hands on control.

And yes the SU was such a terrible police state...Such as when you didn't work you'd get in trouble with the law (which is the opposite in the West), or if kids skipped school and adults noticed you on the street, they'd call police an dhave the police take you back to school, where you'd be shamed in class and your parents would be called on you...or the forced haircuts. (These were a few anecdotes told to me when I worked with a few former Soviet citizens) To me that just sounds like a society with integrity. Not to mention the streets were completely safe and almost free of violent crime, unlike Russia today...esp. in Moscow. I'm more terrified to go to Moscow now than I would be in Soviet times.
Партия всегда права.
Die Partei hat immer recht.
The Party is always right.
Soviet cogitations: 495
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 03 Mar 2008, 02:36
Komsomol
Post 23 May 2012, 00:30
Quote:
And yes the SU was such a terrible police state...Such as when you didn't work you'd get in trouble with the law (which is the opposite in the West), or if kids skipped school and adults noticed you on the street, they'd call police an dhave the police take you back to school, where you'd be shamed in class and your parents would be called on you...or the forced haircuts. (These were a few anecdotes told to me when I worked with a few former Soviet citizens) To me that just sounds like a society with integrity. Not to mention the streets were completely safe and almost free of violent crime, unlike Russia today...esp. in Moscow. I'm more terrified to go to Moscow now than I would be in Soviet times.


All of these things you mention don't require socialism. An authoritarian capitalist state could establish all of these things. Even Mussolini 'made the trains run on time'.

What do you think about workers democracy? And independent trade unions? Should they exist in socialism? I think they should. I also think neither existed in Soviet times.

This is not to say that I'd support fragging, military action against them or whatever, or even that I would prefer to live in Moscow today than Moscow thirty years ago, but all you are talking about is a sense of quality of life. Yes! This is important! But a capitalist country can give you a good quality of life. Tell me what you mean by socialism, all you are saying at the moment is a conservative society (with a small c) that has a large police presence. What is explicitly socialist about any of the things you have said?

Also I would say communism is the abolition of the state, so you don't need things like trade unions (probably), or formal organs of control, as your moving to an administration of things, rather than a government of people.

Socialism, however, is a transition stage where you do have repressive state elements. However, if you can't establish the power of the working class, and it's ability to organise independently of faction or party at the workplace or at a political level, then I would say its difficult to talk about socialism existing.
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 23 May 2012, 09:06
Why do you need things like trade unions under socialism, but not under communism?
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Soviet cogitations: 495
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 03 Mar 2008, 02:36
Komsomol
Post 23 May 2012, 11:33
I qualified the trade unions comment, perhaps we will need them under communism! However if we accept that independent unions (along the lines of the IWW) are, however flawed, the basic self-defence mechanisms of the working class, then we won't need them under communism as there won't be class antagonism.

However under socialism, there definitively IS class antagonism, and an independent and politically conscious working class would be necessary to defeat the bourgeoisie politically, to pressure bureucratisation and to fight against the remnants of capitalist working practice in the workplace. You can only do this with independent workers organisation, either as a union or as an effective workplace 'soviet'.
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 564
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Jun 2010, 16:09
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 23 May 2012, 23:20
Quote:
What is explicitly socialist about any of the things you have said?


Well you're right, nothing really. But you must take what I said and look further into the way Soviet society was constructed...

For instance a capitalist society makes it so that there is always a risk that you can put yourself in dire financial straits, credit cards, making ends meet, student loan debt. as a way to get you to keep working for them. It's their method of enslaving you. Some people pay off those loans for the rest of their life, especially if they didn't make the exact career they wanted to.

A Socialist society is the exact opposite of this. It allows you a home, a place to work, and the idea of losing your house and not eating is considered inhumane (which it is) and wouldn't even happen in the first place. It's a much "nicer" road to communism.

I merely pointed out those petty details about ditching school, and people getting in trouble for not working (in exchange for free healthcare, schooling, housing) as a form as sarcasm for you saying that SU was nothing but a "police state" which indicates to me you think it was ran on sheer terror. A lot of people here would argue against that.
Last edited by Man In Grey on 24 May 2012, 03:40, edited 1 time in total.
Партия всегда права.
Die Partei hat immer recht.
The Party is always right.
Soviet cogitations: 495
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 03 Mar 2008, 02:36
Komsomol
Post 24 May 2012, 02:17
Ah no, it wasn't run by terror. Lots of their citizens were very happy I'm sure. My mentioning that there was a police state was just to highlight the fact that 'unsanctioned' political activity was impossible, as was workplace organisation.

Quote:
For instance a capitalist society makes it so that there is always a risk that you can put yourself in dire financial straits, credit cards, making ends meet, student loan debt. as a way to get you to keep working for them. It's their method of enslaving you. Some people pay off those loans for the rest of their life, especially if they didn't make the exact career they wanted to.


Agreed! I just hope that we can get to this stage without a repressive government
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