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Opinions on East Germany

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Soviet cogitations: 3
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Apr 2013, 23:37
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
New Comrade (Say hi & be nice to me!)
Post 30 Apr 2013, 23:53
So i'm interested in knowing what really happened to East Germany. All I ever read or watch about East Germany is obviously biased. I hope I am not opening up a pandoras box here or something but I am really interested in knowing "our side" of that history. All I can say is that East Germany fell because the German people just wanted to be united. Any thoughts? Please add any insight you have into this particular topic. Thanks!
Soviet cogitations: 2051
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Jun 2011, 08:37
Party Bureaucrat
Post 01 May 2013, 05:57
Nationalism is indeed a very powerful force.

For "another view" of the GDR, check out "Triumph of Evil" by Austin Murphy
http://redscans.wordpress.com/
Soviet America is Free America!

Under communism, there is no freedom; you are not free to live in poverty, be homeless, to be without an education, to starve, or to be without a job
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 01 May 2013, 17:11
Wanting to be united with other Germans played almost no role in the mass protests. You don't see Austrians toppling their government because they like Germany so much. The protests were for democracy, freedom of movement, and freedom of information, and against the bureaucratic dictatorship of the SED leadership.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Soviet cogitations: 12389
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
Ideology: None
Philosophized
Post 02 May 2013, 01:56
Anticipation of the rigidity of the DDR leadership was exactly why Stalin never wanted to create a Communist Germany. The Communists who survived the Hitler years were practically in a state of PTSD. Creating a Socialist state in Germany was judged by Stalin to be entirely premature and ultimately counterproductive. Although Stalin very grudgingly allowed Ulbricht and co. to proclaim the DDR in 1949, it was Krushchev who ultimately legitimized the existence of DDR at the height of the Cold War era.
Last edited by Comrade Gulper on 02 May 2013, 04:15, edited 2 times in total.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
Soviet cogitations: 112
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Apr 2013, 20:13
Pioneer
Post 02 May 2013, 03:17
Mabool wrote:
Wanting to be united with other Germans played almost no role in the mass protests. You don't see Austrians toppling their government because they like Germany so much. The protests were for democracy, freedom of movement, and freedom of information, and against the bureaucratic dictatorship of the SED leadership.


East Germany was one of the greatest socialist countries of all time. There was plenty of freedoms and the leadership was not corrupt.
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 02 May 2013, 12:13
It wasn't a socialist country, it was a deformed workers' state. There was ridiculously little freedoms (more than under capitalism, but simply being a better system than capitalism doesn't make a system "good") and of course the leadership was corrupt. The same bunch of people ruled the state for 20 years. I mean, again, they were probably a lot less corrupt than their capitalist counterparts, but still far too corrupt to make socialism possible.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Soviet cogitations: 112
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Apr 2013, 20:13
Pioneer
Post 02 May 2013, 23:57
Mabool wrote:
It wasn't a socialist country, it was a deformed workers' state. There was ridiculously little freedoms (more than under capitalism, but simply being a better system than capitalism doesn't make a system "good") and of course the leadership was corrupt. The same bunch of people ruled the state for 20 years. I mean, again, they were probably a lot less corrupt than their capitalist counterparts, but still far too corrupt to make socialism possible.


How was the leadership corrupt? And has was there "ridiculously little freedoms"? And I disagree of your notions of it being a deformed workers' state. Sure, it had a ruling political party but the people were not oppressed. The German Democratic Republic was one of the greatest Eastern Bloc states.
Soviet cogitations: 12389
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
Ideology: None
Philosophized
Post 03 May 2013, 01:04
What kind of truly Socialist state would dope its female athletes so badly that they ended up having transgender operations to become men? Type "DDR doping" into Google and see for yourself. Also, the fact that an estimated 1 in 7 individuals were paid informers might give you a clue that things were not completely peachy. DDR was a Cold War pawn state that no one wanted.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
Soviet cogitations: 112
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Apr 2013, 20:13
Pioneer
Post 03 May 2013, 03:09
Comrade Gulper wrote:
What kind of truly Socialist state would dope its female athletes so badly that they ended up having transgender operations to become men? Type "DDR doping" into Google and see for yourself. Also, the fact that an estimated 1 in 7 individuals were paid informers might give you a clue that things were not completely peachy. DDR was a Cold War pawn state that no one wanted.


The GDR was one of the most advanced socialist states at its time. It had a strong socialist economy and a good quality of life. I don't understand how anyone could say it not a true socialist state. Sure, it may have had its flaws, but then again, so does every country.
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 03 May 2013, 15:20
It was not a socialist state because it had no socialist economy. It was a workers' state (aka "revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat"), but it had not yet reached socialism. Its leadership was so bad that it was actually unable to reach socialism. Therefore it was indefinitely stuck in a transitional economy, just like all the other self-proclaimed "socialist states" which never developed towards socialism, but towards capitalism. This is why they're called degenerated or deformed workers' states. I don't understand how anyone could call it a "socialist state" when it is clear that socialism is a classless society with higher developed productive forces than capitalism. It is a basic tenet of Marxism that higher modes of production have better productive forces.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Soviet cogitations: 112
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Apr 2013, 20:13
Pioneer
Post 04 May 2013, 00:24
Mabool wrote:
It was not a socialist state because it had no socialist economy. It was a workers' state (aka "revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat"), but it had not yet reached socialism. Its leadership was so bad that it was actually unable to reach socialism. Therefore it was indefinitely stuck in a transitional economy, just like all the other self-proclaimed "socialist states" which never developed towards socialism, but towards capitalism. This is why they're called degenerated or deformed workers' states. I don't understand how anyone could call it a "socialist state" when it is clear that socialism is a classless society with higher developed productive forces than capitalism. It is a basic tenet of Marxism that higher modes of production have better productive forces.


Like other Warsaw Pact states, the GDR had a centrally planned economy similar to the Soviet Union. It in no way espoused capitalism or had any free enterprise.

Moreover, I would like to add the socialism is just a stepa along the way on the road to communism. East Germany was certainly striving towards this. Also, the Marxist socialism does not structure itself on a classless society. The full statelessness and classlessness is achieved when pure communism is.
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 04 May 2013, 00:59
Look. I'm German. I've been a communist for six years. I have studied the socioeconomic development of the GDR intensely, and over the course of my theoretical development I've espoused all sorts of attitudes towards it, ranging from full support to fierce animosity. I know all the arguments. Do not try to lecture me.

Quote:
Like other Warsaw Pact states, the GDR had a centrally planned economy similar to the Soviet Union. It in no way espoused capitalism or had any free enterprise.


Of course the GDR had free enterprise. At no point was all of its economy state-owned, that is either a lie or a result of misinformation. Small, private trades like watchmakers or goldsmiths always existed.

Moreover, the GDR economy underwent two important reforms, both of which brought it closer to capitalism. In 1964, the "new economic system" was established, which, among other changes, introduced profitability as a criterion for economic planning and gave more freedom to market forces to assert themselves. This was inspired by the Kosygin reforms in the Soviet Union. Then, in 1971, the SED declared the "unity of economic and social policies", which essentially consisted in making the production of consumer goods the highest economic priority. This was mostly financed by credits from capitalist countries - consequently, the external debt of the GDR rose by a factor of 20 between 1971 and 1989. Becoming dependent on capitalism is not a sign of a functioning socialist economy, quite the contrary.

Can these changes be described as leading in a socialist direction? Hardly.

Quote:
Moreover, I would like to add the socialism is just a stepa along the way on the road to communism.


No shit, sherlock.

Quote:
East Germany was certainly striving towards this.


I just showed you how it didn't. And even apart from the economic arena, none of the changes that occured in East German society over the 40 years of its existence can be described as having a communist character. Name one development in the direction of communism, if the GDR was "certainly striving towards this".

Quote:
Also, the Marxist socialism does not structure itself on a classless society. The full statelessness and classlessness is achieved when pure communism is.


Maybe you should read the fifth chapter of Lenin's State and Revolution, he explains it in a really simple way.

http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/w ... v/ch05.htm

Even the way the chapter is structured shows that, essentially, it works like this:

step 1. Transition from capitalism to communism
step 2. Lower phase of communist society (socialism)
step 3. Higher phase communist society (communism)

The GDR was stuck at the first step, and it was by design incapable of ever reaching step 2.

About the classlessness of the lower phase of communist society, Lenin writes this:

Lenin wrote:
The state withers away insofar as there are no longer any capitalists, any classes, and, consequently, no class can be suppressed.

But the state has not yet completely withered away, since the still remains the safeguarding of "bourgeois law", which sanctifies actual inequality. For the state to wither away completely, complete communism is necessary.


So, the transitional period has a state and classes, socialism is classless but not stateless, and communism is classless and stateless. This is quite logical, because the superstructure always lags behind the base ("delay in consciousness") and the state therefore doesn't automatically disappear together with the classes, even though the disappearance of classes is the most important condition for the disappearance of the state. Hence there must a be a period in which the classes are gone while the state persists even though the reason for its existence has been overcome, and this is what socialism refers to. Classes were not gone in the GDR. The GDR never even claimed that it was a classless society (I personally own tons of GDR literature to prove this). What it claimed was that it was a "non-antagonistic class society", a "state of workers and peasants", which is an absurdity.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
Soviet cogitations: 71
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2013, 07:11
Pioneer
Post 04 May 2013, 04:14
DDR was a great state, the showcase state of the soviet system. However, even Egon Krenz said in an interview that it basically didn't work in the end. He criticized the Stasi especially, which he called a "state within a state". When Egon Krenz made that comment about the state being a failure it shocked me. here is the interview:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh2CQi86Unc:

However, I think there is much room for debate about the DDR and since it was socialism in action and not on a drawing board, a very important topic.
[+-]
Soviet cogitations: 589
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Dec 2013, 14:24
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Unperson
Post 02 Jan 2014, 17:14
It must have been a great place to stay, they had to build a wall to keep people out.
Shame that millions defected to West Germany, they must have swallowed revisionist lies.
It was a great place to live as long as you didn’t want to make any international phone calls, travel abroad or watch any West German TV. Or drink coca-cola or real coffee. Or if you didn’t want to wait 7 years for a car that was even worse than the Yugo; the trabant.
Soviet cogitations: 112
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Apr 2013, 20:13
Pioneer
Post 02 Jan 2014, 20:14
Yami wrote:
It must have been a great place to stay, they had to build a wall to keep people out.


They had to build a wall to prevent a brain drain, to bring stability and polarisation between the two warring blocs, and to stop capitalism from flowing into East Germany.


Yami wrote:
Shame that millions defected to West Germany, they must have swallowed revisionist lies.


Millions? No. At most, it was in the thousands. No where even close to a million.

Yami wrote:
It was a great place to live as long as you didn’t want to make any international phone calls, travel abroad or watch any West German TV. Or drink coca-cola or real coffee. Or if you didn’t want to wait 7 years for a car that was even worse than the Yugo; the trabant.


If the GDR was so "horrible", how come so many Germans want socialism back? It's true, many of them prefer what they had back then to what they have now.
[+-]
Soviet cogitations: 589
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Dec 2013, 14:24
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Unperson
Post 02 Jan 2014, 23:05
They want it back? Rubbish! As Seigfried Sasson said of people that left the trenches in WWI...they felt sad and were sorry to go! But I bet if they had to the choice none of them would have returned.

The E. German economy was knackered, it was kaput. It collapsed and I was suprised it lasted as long as it did. 60% of had to be binned when the country unified.

Who'd swap a Merc, BMW or an Audi for a trabant? No one wants the Stasi back either. Good riddance to the most boring place that ever existed.
Soviet cogitations: 112
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Apr 2013, 20:13
Pioneer
Post 03 Jan 2014, 05:49
Yami wrote:
They want it back? Rubbish!


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostalgie
http://www.spiegel.de/international/ger ... 34122.html

Yami wrote:
As Seigfried Sasson said of people that left the trenches in WWI...they felt sad and were sorry to go! But I bet if they had to the choice none of them would have returned.


No, they want socialism back. They don't just yearn its fall, they want it back.

Yami wrote:
The E. German economy was knackered, it was kaput. It collapsed and I was suprised it lasted as long as it did. 60% of had to be binned when the country unified.


The GDR economy did exceptionally well.

Yami wrote:
Who'd swap a Merc, BMW or an Audi for a trabant? No one wants the Stasi back either. Good riddance to the most boring place that ever existed.


East Germany had problems, but life was good there. And most Germans agree with me.
[+-]
Soviet cogitations: 589
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Dec 2013, 14:24
Ideology: Democratic Socialism
Unperson
Post 03 Jan 2014, 11:26
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of ... ebt_crisis

If this is doing well I'd hate to see a failing economy.

If life was so good there why did they have to build a wall there to keep people from leaving?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/East_Germany

As we can see the pop. of E. Germany in 1950 was around 18.4 million by 1990 it had fallen to little over 16 million. This was because people people were leaving in droves.
There was little happiness in the East. But I'll never forget German unification in 1990, how happy the East Germans were to finally be rid of Honecker and co.
Soviet cogitations: 112
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 28 Apr 2013, 20:13
Pioneer
Post 03 Jan 2014, 21:41
Yami wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_east_germany#External_debt_crisis

If this is doing well I'd hate to see a failing economy.


East Germany was the richest Eastern Bloc state and the one with the most stable economy, and this was in spite of having to rebuild their devastated economy and infrastructure after World War II and having to pay substantial war reparations. The economy continued to grow from all throughout its history until the end of the GDR's lifespan, which makes sense considering if a country is on the verge of collapse its economy isn't doing too well either. This was brought on by political problems, the collapse of the Eastern Bloc and an inefficient leadership.

Yami wrote:
If life was so good there why did they have to build a wall there to keep people from leaving?


As previously noted, that's not why they built the wall. They had to build a wall to prevent a brain drain, to bring stability and polarisation between the two warring blocs, and to stop capitalism from flowing into East Germany.

Yami wrote:
As we can see the pop. of E. Germany in 1950 was around 18.4 million by 1990 it had fallen to little over 16 million. This was because people people were leaving in droves.
There was little happiness in the East. But I'll never forget German unification in 1990, how happy the East Germans were to finally be rid of Honecker and co.


As previously noted, if life was "so terrible" there and they were "so happy" to get rid of socialism, then how come the majority of Germans want it back and a great many of them regret the fall of the Berlin Wall?
Soviet cogitations: 12389
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
Ideology: None
Philosophized
Post 04 Jan 2014, 00:38
They want it back -- the good parts. They want excellent health care, guaranteed employment, and a decent standard of living. They want an economy that doesn't buckle and warp under the constant fluctuations of "free market" speculation.

What they DON'T want is constant Stasi surveillance, Olympic doping, and walls built clear across people's houses in the middle of the fragging night.

So, yes, they want Socialism back, but NOT the half-baked, hastily assembled, Soviet client state that was the DDR. This is the 21st century, and Germany isn't short of rational minds that can do better than that.
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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