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Author Topic: Life in the USSR  (Read 3001 times)
Vince
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« Reply #60 on: October 03, 2018, 07:31:15 am »

Also, saying that the october revolution was some kind of power grab is pretty schewed. It was a mass movement of the russian people...
I've yet to see (or read about) a mass movement that didn't have puppeteers pulling the strings. These people fan the flames, guide and shape the anger, making sure it flows in the right direction, and they always get the power when it changes hands.

Lenin has been brainwashing the masses with his Iskra newspaper ("From a spark a fire will flare up") since 1900, so the mass movement that delivered the power to Lenin & Co didn't spring up out of nowhere.
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Spyros
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« Reply #61 on: October 03, 2018, 04:17:02 pm »

Where Trotsky and Lenin both got their initial funds when they departed for Russia should be a red flag. Elite capitalists financed the system that supposedly was against them, a bigger hint than this I can't think of.

Looking at the funding for today's supposedly "revolutionary" movements is just as enlightening.
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Wrath of Dagon
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« Reply #62 on: October 03, 2018, 07:03:24 pm »

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;
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Secondly--MURDER? Merely because I had planned the duel and provoked the quarrel! Never had I heard anything so preposterous.
vallraffs
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« Reply #63 on: October 09, 2018, 07:54:50 am »

Quote
Lenin has been brainwashing the masses with his Iskra newspaper ("From a spark a fire will flare up") since 1900, so the mass movement that delivered the power to Lenin & Co didn't spring up out of nowhere.

"Brainwashing the masses", are you serious?  Huh? By being an editor for a newspaper?
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Vince
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« Reply #64 on: October 09, 2018, 08:57:55 am »



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iskra

Quote
Iskra was a political newspaper...  the official organ of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP)... quickly became the most successful underground Russian newspaper in 50 years.

Iskra's motto was "Из искры возгорится пламя" ("From a spark a fire will flare up")...  The editorial line championed the battle for political freedom as well as the cause of socialist revolution... as well as the Socialist Revolutionaries, who advocated terror tactics.

Some of the staff were later involved in the Bolshevik revolution of October 1917.

https://www.jstor.org/stable/2492685?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
^ bonus reading



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vallraffs
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« Reply #65 on: October 12, 2018, 04:47:45 pm »

I don't get what point you are making though. Lenin was an editor for iskra, the official organ of the Russian social democratic party.  Do you mean to imply that this is strange in some way, for a party member and political activist to write for the newspaper put out by the party? Are you saying something about socialist revolution? I mean that was what the social democrats in Russia and the rest of Europe were arguing for. It's not something that was specific to the people who worked for iskra, let alone something that Lenin was orchestrating "behind the scenes". He was one of many, albeit with his own theories for what socialist politics should involve which he wrote about, just like Martov or Plekhanov and all the other famous russian marxists of the late 1890s.

Videos about iskra:

« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 02:56:57 am by vallraffs » Logged
Vahha
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« Reply #66 on: October 14, 2018, 05:14:36 pm »

I was very young in the USSR so all I remember is a semi-poor existence of my parents, two engineers, a chronic deficiency of most foods and household stuff and decent clothes and shoes, and constantly angry horrid homo soveticus around, of course all this was taken for granted when I was a kid.
The 90s were even harsher tho, extremely poor and in every possible way degrading times, and nowadays the post-soviets are imho like fucking circles of hell on earth inhabited by hellish homo post-soveticus, the whole area from Moldova to Tajikistan and from Baku to Murmansk is one big mess of crap.
I'd say the USSR never really perished, instead splitting up into a number of equally shitty pieces, varying only in sizes, climate, religion, and economic development. Dammit, despite the enormous Soviet infrastructure based on the endless resources the USSR had, the average salaries in the post-Soviet shit-hells like Ukraine or Russia are the same or lower than in the banana republic of Ecuador or in crises-struck Argentina - that is what shitty management and insane corruption can do to a country.
No offense to anyone, just a strongly colored by personal experience imho.

As for my parents' and grandparents' experiences, well, Stalin's USSR was a bloody paranoid dictatorship, Khruschyov's a lot less wicked but still very shitty to live in, Brezhnev's was the nicest times 'cause the resources were plentiful and the infrastructure/industry/economy was being developed boisterously (but still there was very little individual freedom or rights), then things were just declining steadily owing to batshit stupid country management and wasting too many resources on geopolitics and wars.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 05:28:43 pm by Vahha » Logged

“In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

― George Orwell, 1984
menyalin
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« Reply #67 on: October 15, 2018, 06:24:50 am »

No offense to anyone, just a strongly colored by personal experience imho.
This is the biggest problem of the topic on post-soviet territory. Some people experienced many good things, others - quite the opposite, and almost all of them consider their experience the most true, but neither really right. Quite expectable for such a big and heterogeneous country.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 06:32:37 am by menyalin » Logged
Vahha
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« Reply #68 on: October 15, 2018, 04:22:13 pm »

Objective USSR Pros: (Khruschyov-Brezhnev-Gorby's times) free okay quality education, free okay quality accommodation, free mediocre healthcare, industrial development. Any country with THIS enormous amount of resources per capita could afford that easily.
Objective USSR Cons: a militarist-imperialist bullshitting/brainwashing iron curtain dictatorship with ultrabureaucracy and miserable people's lives and rights.
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“In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

― George Orwell, 1984
Vince
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« Reply #69 on: October 15, 2018, 05:21:18 pm »

Your objective statements are subjective as fuck. Just sayin'.

Amusingly enough, I defend the Soviet way of life (usually when talking to people who didn't experience it firsthand) as often as I defend the western way of life when talking to westerners (who seemingly experienced only the worst the west has to offer). Thus this discussion isn't some kinda unique Soviet phenomenon or a study of nostalgia and its effects. In a sense it's no different than one's reaction to AoD: some people love it and can easily beat any challenge, other people are convinced its utter shit and the system is rigged against you.
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Vahha
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« Reply #70 on: October 16, 2018, 04:02:08 am »

Haha, that is merely your subjective point of view.


free okay quality education
objective verifiable

Quote
free okay quality accommodation
objective verifiable

Quote
free mediocre healthcare
objective verifiable

Quote
industrial development
objective verifiable

Quote
Any country with THIS enormous amount of resources per capita could afford that easily.
objective verifiable

Quote
militarist-imperialist
objective verifiable

Quote
bullshitting/brainwashing
objective verifiable

Quote
iron curtain
objective verifiable

Quote
dictatorship
objective verifiable

Quote
with ultrabureaucracy
objective verifiable

Quote
miserable people's lives
objective verifiable

Quote
miserable people's rights
objective verifiable
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 04:11:56 am by Vahha » Logged

“In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

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menyalin
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« Reply #71 on: October 16, 2018, 05:47:30 am »

Haha, that is merely your subjective point of view.
This is not "objective verification" and even not discussion itself but more like talking with "copypaste". Everyone can find tons of such simplistic "objective" judgements about SU just by one query in Google, so why bother reproducing it to verbally prove your "objectivity"?
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Vince
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« Reply #72 on: October 16, 2018, 12:27:20 pm »

objective verifiable
Verifiable by whom exactly? Plus, the moment you make claims like "miserable people's lives and rights" you leave any pretense of objectivity behind and enter a deeply subjective area.

Let's take your "mediocre healthcare", for example. I had a surgery on my left eye at the tender age of 6. Stitches on the eyeball and all that. It went well and I didn't need reading glasses until I turned 47. That part of the hospital was full of kids who suffered accidents while playing (the hospital had a huge billboard featuring various foreign objects removed from kids' eyes). I doubt that any of these kids whose eyes and vision were saved would refer to the Soviet healthcare as mediocre. Such a surgery would cost tens of thousands of dollars in the US, which is a strain few working class families can bear without getting in debt for life.

Naturally, it doesn't mean that everyone had a great experience, but it shows that not everyone had a bad or mediocre experience. Far from it, I'd say.

You talk about the semi-poor existence of your parents. Semi-poor is an interesting choice of words as it covers a vast range between poor and well-to-do. The main question here is this though: what should we compare your parents life to? To some ideal life in the west? To what we firmly believe should have been possible in the Soviet Union? Being a simple person, I compare it to what I've seen and experienced in Canada. Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticizing the western life, but it's far from being that picnic we've all imagined it to be back in the Soviet days. 

Comparing apple-to-apple, both my grandparents and parents (also engineers like yours) had a pretty good life in the ol' Soviet Union. It was simple, of course, far simpler than a comparable life in the west, but at the same time they had none of the typical western problems plaguing the working and low-middle class, which is a good trade-off. Like I said before, I'd rather be poor in the Soviet Union than in the West. No doubts about it.

So the question then is how many people are doing really well in the west. In Canada the average salary is $986/week as of Sep 2017 (roughly 51k a year before taxes). 50k sounds like a LOT of money but it's not. Let me break it down for you: in Toronto you'll have to pay 1,5k-2k to rent a one or two bedroom apartment (we paid $900 for a small one-bedroom appt 25+ years ago), so 2 paychecks out of 4 cover rent. You need a car to get to work; that's another paycheck - the cost of financing (car loan), gas (roughly $70-120 a week), and insurance ($150-250 a month). The last paycheck covers food and clothing. If you stick with basic ingredients, the way your parents lived in the USSR, you can spend $100-120 a week for the family of 3-4, and that's just the basics that require cooking. If you like weekly take-outs on top of that, add $40-70 a week. So half of the last check covers food and the remaining $300-400 cover clothing, furniture, TV, internet, books, video games, student loans, dental, and other finer things in life.

Now imagine all that but while earning half the money (25-35k a year). Imagine losing a job with a setup like that. It instantly fucks you up and forces you to borrow money just to keep your apartment and cover the cost of living. If it takes you 3 months to find a new job, you're already thousands of dollars in debt, probably on top of previous debt. I had 40k debt at some point (whole I was gainfully employed and doing well, but not well enough to pay all bills and unexpected surprises like a car engine repair), and back then I had no idea if I'd ever be able to pay it off.

To throw some numbers at you, in the US 70,075,212 people earned under $25,000 – 42.85% of the total in 2014. 44,496,340 people earned between $20,000 and 50,000 – 27.21% of the total. I'd say that at least half of them would have gladly traded their economic situation for that of your 'semi-poor' parents.

Overall I did well, after I went to sales and discovered that I had a talent for it. Ironically, I would have done well in the Soviet Union too had I embraced sales, but this career choice would have probably given a heart attack to my engineer-parents.

People tend to focus on what they don't have and take what they do have for granted. For example, I had to take a mandatory course on Marxism-Leninism while studying management of marine transport in a university. Naturally, being well-versed in Marxism-Leninism wouldn't help me manage our glorious fleet better, so I resented it (meaning fucking hated it) very much. I imagined that such a bizarre, absolutely idiotic thing couldn't possibly exist in the enlightened, practical West, yet lo and behold - they had their own version of Marxism-Leninism called Social Studies, their own ideology they were eager to shove down your throat to make you a true believer. Mandatory, of course. And you have to pay for the privilege.
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