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Prague Spring 1968

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Soviet cogitations: 869
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Sep 2004, 03:25
Komsomol
Post 29 Dec 2004, 23:58
Well, I just woke up without a dosage of coffee, what do you expect? My brain does not think well at those times.

Oh and how did i conflict with the rules?
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Soviet cogitations: 75
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Jan 2006, 20:09
Unperson
Post 07 Jan 2006, 23:03
Alexander Dubcek was a right-wing oppurtunist creep who tried to transform Czechoslovakia into a playground for the West.
chaz171 edit. We dont discriminate here based on race thank you.
"To rebel is justified"---Red Guard slogan
Soviet cogitations: 214
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 16 Dec 2005, 14:24
Pioneer
Post 16 Jan 2006, 00:14
Quote:
He must have been a Jew


Right.... What makes you believe this crap?
Speak not of revolution until you are willing to eat rats to survive- The Last Poets
Soviet cogitations: 200
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Apr 2005, 19:00
Pioneer
Post 16 Jan 2006, 23:29
Strange that lot of people here associate the Soviet actions in Prague 1968 (or in Budapest 1956 etc) with defending the Communism?
I think people are lost the clear mind unfortunately.
Closest help to open the eyes is to read the name of this web-site slowly and loudly and it should remind what is the real point - there is nothing to do with communism or socialism.
It's pure Imperialism!
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Soviet cogitations: 793
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Nov 2005, 08:18
Komsomol
Post 20 Jan 2006, 02:58
Hello Corsar again!!
Czechoslovaks moving away from communism created a threat of other Warsaw Pact countries doing the same. The Soviets had same fear of this as Americans with the opposite (falling domino theory and hence the invasion of Vietnam and North Korea, the placement of Pinochet in Chile, etc.), for which NATO was created. According to your logic, NATO is also imperialist, meaning your Estionian homeland is part of an empire...again
. Just that Americans were smarter in this case; they made you part of an empire more subtly than the Soviets, so you didn't even realise it.
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"Art belongs to the people!" - V.I. Lenin
Soviet cogitations: 200
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Apr 2005, 19:00
Pioneer
Post 21 Jan 2006, 13:36
To Vitaliy

Quote:
Czechoslovaks moving away from communism created a threat of other Warsaw Pact countries doing the same. The Soviets had same fear of this as Americans with the opposite

May be U're right. It proves that USSR was imperialistic as USA was. And there is nothing to do with communism - it was only fabricated reason for other world and for dummy believers of USSR "humanity".
It was pure imperialism covered with Hypocrasy.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 21 Jan 2006, 19:02
Gorbachev was once asked what the difference was between his reforms and the Prague Spring. He answered..."Nineteen years"
"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
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Aug 2006, 17:42
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
R.I.P.
Post 29 Aug 2006, 00:24
I was first exposed to this subjest when the movie 'unbearable lightness of being' came out. a movie that utilized this event as the backdrop of the story.

Capitalists used this event to their own agenda. to show that communism is evil. and forced on the people.

These types of actions, however wrong, must not be labled on all communists. I think that it is wrong to force beliefs on anyone. politics at the end of a pistol are wrong...
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Soviet cogitations: 675
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 05 Nov 2005, 21:16
Komsomol
Post 11 Sep 2006, 23:21
Quote:
Gorbachev was once asked what the difference was between his reforms and the Prague Spring. He answered..."Nineteen years"


Are you saying that he wanted to destroy his nation.
"Its the ones who are subject to occupation that ultimately get to decide whether it was benicfial or not".

Myself.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Aug 2006, 17:42
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
R.I.P.
Post 21 Sep 2006, 05:42
Quote:
Are you saying that he wanted to destroy his nation.


whether he said this or not, it sure seem that way.

and as a matter of fact he did destroy the nation
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Soviet cogitations: 121
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 26 Aug 2012, 01:06
Pioneer
Post 26 Feb 2013, 14:42
How come there is so seldom a class analysis of the Prague Spring of 1968? Does any old rebellion or independence movement gain our sympathy just because? Or do we need to understand which classes were in the forefront?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 26 Feb 2013, 15:31
This can be a subject that we return to ZB, although you must recognize that the forum's intellectual environment has changed significantly over the years since the last posts in this thread were made. I don't really have much to add to what I wrote 7 years ago, except to cite once again that Dubcek was a reformer ala Gorbachev and that his reforms would have ended in the destruction of socialism within Czechoslovakia. In Dubcek's case I don't really believe that he had a secret consciously set goal of turning the country into a social democratic capitalist state, but the people that stood behind him, including elements of the party and the intelligentsia, and of course Western states and their intelligence agencies, would push the process as far as they could -first to non-ML socialism, then to democratic socialism, then social democracy, then perhaps ultraliberalism. This is the scenario that played out in the USSR, and in much of Eastern Europe (including for instance Poland with its strong labour union movement) in the early 1990s. The response taken by the Warsaw Pact was unavoidable, given that to surrender Czechoslovakia would be to surrender Eastern Europe to capitalism and imperialism, and at the time, this was an option the Soviet leadership could not conceive.
"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
Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 26 Feb 2013, 19:27
It was essentialy a petty-bourgeois rebellion ( but a good part of the working class, students and others ) led by certain "liberal" wings of the KSČ. But the Warsaw Pact, that is to say the USSR, had no right to invade a sovereign country when it was clear that the Czechoslovak masses wanted independence or "democratic socialism", or social-democracy if you wish.
All that only made matters worse and simply prolonged the agony of ČSSR for another 20 years and poisoned the relations between E. European countries. Not to mention how destructive the impact of that aggression was on the world communist movement as a whole and particularly the Moscow-oriented parties.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 09 May 2008, 14:59
Ideology: Other Leftist
Forum Commissar
Post 26 Feb 2013, 19:48
This is a 7 year old topic. Please refrain from reviving topics that are more than a few months old unless you have something world-shaking to add to the conversation.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Sep 2006, 22:05
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 26 Feb 2013, 21:19
One last thing: much like Hungary in '56, what started out as a genuine worker's rebellion (much more so in Hungary) was soon co-opted by reactionaries within and turned into something threatening worker's power altogether.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 26 Feb 2013, 22:47
Loz wrote:
It was essentialy a petty-bourgeois rebellion ( but a good part of the working class, students and others ) led by certain "liberal" wings of the KSČ. But the Warsaw Pact, that is to say the USSR, had no right to invade a sovereign country when it was clear that the Czechoslovak masses wanted independence or "democratic socialism", or social-democracy if you wish.
All that only made matters worse and simply prolonged the agony of ČSSR for another 20 years and poisoned the relations between E. European countries. Not to mention how destructive the impact of that aggression was on the world communist movement as a whole and particularly the Moscow-oriented parties.


Oh god. This. Thank you for this post.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 26 Feb 2013, 22:54
Ok, let's say Loz is right. What were the real options for the USSR, the Warsaw Pact nations, and Czechoslovak MLs? The Czechoslovak people would not receive democratic socialism or social democracy, but political and economic liberalism and occupation by imperialist forces. Short of an alternative world where the Eastern European nations freed of fascism in 1945 became neutral, Finland/Austria style states guaranteed not to enter into alliances against the USSR, there was no other option for the Soviet Union or its allies.
"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
Loz
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 26 Feb 2013, 23:09
I don't see why ČSSR couldn't have turned into another Yugoslavia-type country, only more developed and organized. Or at worst it would have been like Finland, a peaceful, netural but somewhat still pro-Soviet country.
If i'm not wrong that's exactly what Stalin sought for post-war Germany, it's just that the West ruined his plans. As on book says, GDR was Stalin's "unwanted child".
I doubt that the working masses in ČSSR would have been OK with economic liberalism ( of the type that was eventually introduced in 1990 ) and trampling on their rights, especially when it was still the time of strong welfare states in the West.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 27 Feb 2013, 16:18
The CSSR could not become a Yugoslavia because these two countries had differing development trajectories. In one, the communists took power as a result of a partisan victory over fascism, followed by a brief, but popularly supported consolidation of power. In the other, communists, while existing as a massive force (among the largest CPs in Europe) nevertheless to an extent rode in on the coattails of the Red Army, and were forced by circumstances arising in the late 1940s to become the sole governing party. Unfortunately these circumstances -namely the advent of the Cold War, were viewed among many Eastern Europeans as the fault of the USSR and of communists in general.

If the circumstances that led to the Cold War did not come about, then the Finland-like neutral state friendly to the USSR would be possible, for most of Eastern Europe, and for eastern Germany, which would be incorporated into a united, neutral Germany with constitutional guarantees not to enter into alliances against the USSR. After the onset of the Cold War system, the only alternative to the ML regimes imposed on Eastern Europe was a variant of capitalism and political and military domination by European and American imperialism. If you think the demands of the working masses would matter to the new foreign and domestic capitalist masters, I again refer you to the situation in Poland in our timeline, where the strong Solidarity Union system virtually disintegrated once the PUWP was toppled. For a time of course, there is a possibility that Keynesian, social democrats would have won out, but after the stagflation crises of the 1970s these would give way to ultrareactionary conservatism ala Germany, Britain and the United States.
"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
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 26 Aug 2012, 01:06
Pioneer
Post 01 Mar 2013, 00:22
Loz wrote:
It was essentialy a petty-bourgeois rebellion ( but a good part of the working class, students and others ) led by certain "liberal" wings of the KSČ. But the Warsaw Pact, that is to say the USSR, had no right to invade a sovereign country when it was clear that the Czechoslovak masses wanted independence or "democratic socialism", or social-democracy if you wish.
All that only made matters worse and simply prolonged the agony of ČSSR for another 20 years and poisoned the relations between E. European countries. Not to mention how destructive the impact of that aggression was on the world communist movement as a whole and particularly the Moscow-oriented parties.


I don't mean to promote realpolitik here, but isn't preserving socialism in a socialist alliance of foremost importance?

Besides, if it was primarily a petty-bourgeois rebellion, how can we speak of the "Czechoslovak masses" without clear class delineations? If the petty-bourgeois decide they want to overthrow socialism (even if of a revisionist kind) and replace it with social-democracy, should their desires trump the working class? And even if there are some workers who are led by these petty-bourgeois democrats, didn't Lenin say that there will always be a section of the workers who will do so, but that the function of the Party is to lead as a vanguard away from these influences?

Independence, if decided by a clearly proletariat-dominated party -- and not one moled through with petty-bourgeois intellectuals who showed clear and repeated contempt for workers -- is one thing. But "independence" as an absolute is just metaphysical thinking, no? It wouldn't surprise me if Brezhnev's USSR played up the role of the CIA and West German intelligence in all this, but their presence was there and significant nonetheless. (We understand they would be there in any revolutionary upheaval, but if the revolution is an authentic one coming from within the working class itself, then we have a different situation.) Lenin said that the revolution trumps formalism.

I'm not saying that socialist nations should invade the sovereignty of other countries, particularly fraternal countries, but isn't "invasion of sovereignty" more a U.N. trope, and a metaphysical one at that, if it is not approached dialectically? If a fraternal country is in the process of becoming unfraternal and unsocialist, what then? I know Lenin strongly urged, under the concrete conditions of the 1920s, the right to secede. I guess the question is, under the conditions in the late 60s, did this analysis still hold? If the petty-bourgeois forces had managed to break Czech away, what would have been the real world consequences? I agree with the analysis that Dubcek was essentially a pre-Gorbachev, and it does seem like '68 was a rehearsal for the late 80's and early 90's. What position would the West have been in had it managed to gain a new proto-capitalist ally? (And didn't the fall of the Warsaw Pact nations precede and have somewhat of a domino effect on what happened in the USSR?) We obviously can't ask these questions in a vacuum, or we risk idealism -- even though principles are important.

It seems to me the real question is the degree to which the USSR, leading the Warsaw Pact nations, authentically intervened on behalf of the working class, and not just the threatened reified socialist (/revisionist) apparatus, and what sorts of organizational changes did they encourage after the fact? Did these benefit working-class and continuing the revolution towards communism? To what degree did the intervention have a chilling effect on creativity? Was anything done to counter this?

The problem is, most things I have read about this simply condemn the thing in a one-sided and metaphysical way. It's as if a generation raised with mass protests got traumatized seeing tanks in the streets in the midst of big protests, and drew their conclusions from these images. I could be wrong, but that seems to be the impression. But who were the masses in the street? Doesn't that matter? Obviously the bourgeois -- and Trotskyite -- sources condemn it automatically, but even antirevisionists seem to do so, in their hatred of the revisionist USSR. But even from that perspective, are we to applaud any rebellion, regardless of its source? If there is essentially a rebellion against a revisionist regime (which generally speaking, would be a right-deviationist regime already) which is right-wing in nature -- whether extreme nationalist or Islamist or just idolizing capitalism and its freedoms -- wouldn't we at least need to do a concrete analysis of what the forces in place are, and what the chances are for an authentic restoration of revolution against revisionism, and what is just going to be turned by rightist forces into an attempt to colonize another country? The "color revolutions" seem to illustrate this principle. Revisionism may have slowed down the revolution in the USSR, even perhaps to a glacier pace, but would anyone argue that the peoples of the ex-Soviet Union are better off now than they were under the ample welfare-state provisions that the USSR, revisionist or not, still provided? If there were a popular rebellion in a revisionist country, and there were working-class forces, even if in a nascent vanguard form, that stood a chance to make a difference and turn it into a restoration of genuine Marxist-Leninist revolution, that would be one thing. But what are Marxist-Leninists to do in a situation where that is not the case? How was Czech '68 different from Hungary '56? I understand that there were indeed some pretty amazing working-class innovations that happened in the midst of the Hungary situation, with a return to a more soviet-council form, etc., but in the balance of the mix, weren't these drowned out by other, louder forces that were getting ahold of the situation?
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