Will we ever see another USSR?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Dmac77, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. Dmac77 macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #1
    Maybe I've been too bored this summer, because I've watched a few too many videos about communism, and I've had some fun going through my grandparents relics from communist Eastern Europe, and hearing their stories (both of my maternal grandparents fled Hungary during the '56 revolution). But I've become fascinated by communism, and the history of communism, especially in Eastern Europe.

    Anyways, I was just wondering if you guys think there will ever be another USSR, or Warsaw Pact like union. For the record, I don't want any "Pelosi and Obama will get us there soon enough" responses. I'm being serious. Do you guys think that in your lifetime or in my lifetime (I'm 16) that we'll ever see the USSR rise again?

    Also, if there is another USSR what are the chances of another weapons race and cold war in your opinions?

    I for one believe that another USSR will come into existence. Communism is just too appealing; after all it looks flawless on paper. As more and more people who actually lived through communism either A) die or B) stop talking about it, people my age who never experienced the cold war will be more likely to try to revive communism. That's my opinion at least.

    -Don
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Something that looks good in paper doesn't mean that it actually works in real life. I think it has been tried too many times and the main points of communism (classless, stateless and communal ownership) just don't work. There are different kinds of communism too, I think you're referring to stalinism because you're talking about USSR.

    Aren't China, Cuba and Russia more or less communist countries already? China could be the new USSR, I don't know. I don't think it has ever worked like it should though democracy doesn't work either (politicians get elected and then do nothing what they promised).
     
  3. juanm macrumors 65816

    juanm

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Location:
    Fury 161
    #3
    You mean a communist superpower? (China)
    Just communist countries? (Cuba, North Corea, China)
    A dictatorship Superpower? (Russia, China)

    All three together? (see my point? China)
     
  4. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #4
    Well I'm not saying that there aren't communist countries still. What I'm more wondering is if there will be another powerful coalition of communist countries. Not just a few countries scattered around the world. Half of Europe was literally blocked off from the rest of the world, those multiple countries were for all intensive purposes one country. I'm just wondering if people think we'll see something on a scale like that again.

    @ Juanm - I mean a dictatorship superpower. Something along the lines of the USSR in the 50's and 60's.

    -Don
     
  5. ValSalva macrumors 68040

    ValSalva

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Location:
    Burpelson AFB
    #5
    I agree. China is set to be the west's biggest rival. They may not be the evil that the USSR represented back in the cold war with the threat of nuclear annihilation but they represent an insidious economic and cyber-terrorist threat.

    IMO these cold economic and cyber wars are already taking place.
     
  6. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Location:
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    #6
    Communsism isn't even good on paper. Yes, everybody is supposed to be equal, but you still need a "decision making" class that decides where it all is heading, therefore you also still need an "enforcer" class (police/military) that ensures people are doing what their told.

    Communism isn't about freedom, it's supposed to be a dictatorship, just like fascism. Even Karl Marx wrote that people don't have the right to own their own land, or own means of transportation or should have the right to educate their own children, etc ... everything is to be controlled by the government, and that's a government without any control by the people and without any checks and balances.

    Personally I doubt there will be another USSR - or another cold war like there was before. Everything is heading to a big world government with the European Union, the North American Union and the Asian Union and above all the United Nations and above that the multinational corporations. Even during the past cold war there was a constant technology transfer from the west to the east to keep the cold war going so that the weapon industry can make its profits.
     
  7. ValSalva macrumors 68040

    ValSalva

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    Location:
    Burpelson AFB
    #7
    And now there's this. China is bad news. Having facism in the guise of communism in the world's largest country is not a good thing :(
     
  8. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #8
    Devil's advocate = look around you right now. What country is invading others, attempting to spread their political philosophy, and involved in a land war in central, landlocked asia? What country has alliances all over the world in order to spread its influence?

    An argument could be made that we are the answer to your question. Our political spectrum is being skewed farther and farther to the radical, and look where we are today.
     
  9. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #9
    It's highly unlikely that there will be another political organization similar to the Soviet Union and its satellite countries from 1940-1991.

    There are some things to keep in mind.

    First, there is the ideological component. Soviet-style communism is basically a bankrupt philosophy of societal organization. What's going on in Cuba, China, Vietnam, et. al. is quite different from the ideological backing of the Soviet Union in the postwar period.

    Second, there is the foreign policy component. The postwar Soviet Union and its bloc in East Europe was the culmination of cynical territorial aggrandizement of entire sovereign nations; territorial aggrandizement of parts of sovereign nations; a power vacuum after the entire "European system" collapsed after World War II; a Soviet Union that claimed victory in World War II and paying a heavy domestic cost in terms of blood and resources; and the Soviet willingness to install puppet regimes in certain countries.

    Third, we must wrap all of this up through the prism of sharply diverging world views between the US and USSR in the immediate postwar period that resulted in cold war.

    Of course it's possible that a future global war could create a situation where a state might have the opportunity to create such a system. In the nuclear age though, I don't think we'd ever reach a war of that magnitude again and survive it collectively. Finally, in the foreseeable future, there are too many potential points of strength around the globe for such a huge vacuum to come into existence.
     
  10. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #10
    Have any of you ever thought that the USSR turned the way it did because of outside influences? A country's mentality changes when it is attacked, for example Apartheid sprung from how the Afrikaners were treated during the Boer Wars, Israel's treatment of Palestinians from the Six Day War, even the USA currently is still reacting to 9/11.

    So how about having Hitler's troops destroy your entire industrial and agricultural heartlands, killing millions of your people in the process? Wouldn't that make you absolutely determined to arm yourself to the teeth and ensure it doesn't happen again?
     
  11. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #11
    Since the fall of Communism in Russia, Russia has not had a dictatorship and nor are they really a Superpower now :( although they could become one again ;)

    IMO I think we will see a new USSR (which was a union of 15 countries not just Russia which was Russian SFSR, I couldn't tell from the OP if he understood that it was a union not just one country as he kept refering to China as a modern USSR which is a country). At the moment the closest thing to the USSR is the European Union although not a Communist union with restrictions.

    If there is a new USSR I think will be Chinese run in Asia (should they decide to invade a bunch of Asian countries and increase their sphere of influence).

    At the moment I also see the US starting to decline as a Superpower as I bet within the next 10 - 20 years they will be kicked in the teeth by a bunch of countries they thought were their allies/friends and Obama isn't helping on bit IMO.

    /Rambling :p
     
  12. einmusiker macrumors 68030

    einmusiker

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2010
    Location:
    Location: Location:
    #12
    The Human Condition/

    people might dream and wish and even plan for some kind of political entity that can form a "just" world order, or something of the like... but human beings are not built that way. It's a never ending cycle. I think the beginning of the movie The Warriors says it all lol. When the one and only cyrus gets shot by the leader of the rogues because he was "having a good time..."

    "warriors... come out to playeeyayyyy..."
     
  13. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #13
    Of course the legacy of World War II weighed heavily on Soviet security interests in the immediate postwar years. How the Soviet Union implemented their security concerns was heavily influenced by three distinguishing features of the Soviet Union: ideology, terror, and territorial aggression.

    During the Russian Civil War, purges and executions were conducted by the Bolsheviks in retribution for White Atrocities. From 1936-1938, to the best we can ascertain, roughly 1 million citizens died due to the purges. From 1939 until 1941, the Soviet Union was an ally of Nazi Germany. In 1939 the Soviet Union invaded Finland. In 1940, the Soviet Union wiped Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania off of the map. etc.

    I'm not arguing that the Soviet Union did not have legitimate security concerns that needed to be met. I am arguing that what transpired between 1939 and 1948 went above and beyond any reasonable means of securing vital state interests. Further, it exposed the Soviet Union as being a pariah and was a failed experiment that stunted the development of the Russian nation, as well as those who fell into their postwar sphere of influence.
     
  14. Shivetya macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #14
    The sad part is, capitalism, the success of it, the funds it generates, does allow politicians to get away with more. Simply put, back in Reagan's day it was obvious who had the better economy and why. We simply do what we do because we can outspend the other guys. For all these politicians we have who rail about the rich/capitalism's sins they seem damn well happy to abuse the profits of it, even it means invading other countries.
     
  15. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    #15
    Venezuela has been said to be heading in that direction
     
  16. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #16
    Speak for yourself.
     
  17. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2001
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #17
    Without defending its practical results, the original aim of communism gets a bad rap, and we still labor under propagandistic mischaracterizations of it.

    In truth, communists and anarcho-capitalists dream of the same thing: they observe a simple principle that seems to lead to harmonious interaction between people, and they extrapolate from that a vision of an entire society operating by that principle, imagining that if such a society came to pass, the inefficient bureaucratic nightmare of government would be unnecessary.

    I have been known to say on occasion that radical communists and radical capitalists want the same thing anarchists do. The only difference is, for better and for worse, the anarchist lacks a stupid theory on how to get there.

    Communists did not want a dictatorship. They dreamed of freedom same as we do, only they differed on the theory of how to get there. All the "central planning" nonsense was intended to be an intermediate stage. That, to a Soviet communist, was not communism. Communism was the utopia on the other side, when the central planning is no longer necessary and the temporarily necessary evil of government can die quietly in its sleep, leaving the whole country one glorious, self-organizing industrial commune, which was to guarantee peace and prosperity to everyone.

    Of course it was a fool's errand. They couldn't see that any more than we can see the similar limitations of capitalism. Arguably capitalism gets you farther, incorporating more self-organizing principles than does Soviet-style socialism, but the ultimate crippling factor in either case is not our philosophies but ourselves. Neither system scales correctly because we don't scale correctly. Organizing groups of humans larger than roughly tribal-size is simply not possible without some form of government, and that government will necessarily be less efficient at satisfying the needs of individuals than small-scale direct human interaction can be.

    The extrapolations of well-meaning rational minds overlook our own tenuous grasp on rationality and imagine that a society can operate by something so simple as a guiding principle. A society you can just wind up and turn loose, with a philosophy conveniently relieving us of the burden of thought and responsibility, is ultimately a childish dream, but strangely one to the pursuit of which many brilliant people have devoted their lives.

    In practice, it isn't any great insight to observe that all these systems automatically devolve in short order into an elite class exploiting an unprivileged class and telling themselves they have every moral right to that position, justified by the exact philosophy their founders imagined would make them all free forever. A truly outside observer would be puzzled at how we argue over theories of society that all seem to lead to the same result, but that's once again just us. Homo sapiens. The species is to blame, not the theory.

    We are cursed, as a race, to forever watch our most brilliant schemes crumble due to our own inability to live up to them, and to forever betray our most cherished principles in a desperate bid to rescue ourselves from our failings. In the immortal words of Walt Kelly, "we have met the enemy, and he is us." Better to give up on a society of principle apart from the principle that society is hard, and that we will spend the rest of history making suboptimal decisions to correct for all our past suboptimal decisions. Time to grow up, stop looking for a philosophical panacea and commit to taking care of ourselves the hard way.
     
  18. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
  19. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2001
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #19
    Not in the sense a petulant capitalist likes to use that phrase, certainly.

    Posit that there's no free lunch, and eventually you will find yourself having to give away a few lunches just to survive. Such is life. Nothing is ever as tidy as you'd like. If I am saying anything prescriptive, it's probably that we shouldn't damn ourselves for the necessity.
     
  20. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2003
    Location:
    Penryn
    #20
    No.

    I do think the world will lean more towards social-democracies like are found in Europe, but the time for grand experiments in totalitarian communism is over.

    I think Africa is the place to watch in regards to new political developments. The ME is simply too split by factions to ever be brought under one ruling coalition.
     
  21. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #21
    I feel that, despite all its flaws, we have something to gain from the ideals thrust forward by communism. As you said, it all starts out with the best of intentions. Like a ship tacking into the wind, we zig-zag from mistake to mistake but we are making progress, however slow. As you said, we should come to the realization that the best we can do is continue to make sub-optimal decisions.
     
  22. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #22
    I agree. The U.S. had a better economy because Russia failed to advance significantly economically in the late imperial period, before the Soviet Union ever existed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_regions_by_past_GDP_(PPP)

    GDP

    Year Russia USA
    1820 37678 12548
    1870 83646 98374
    1913 232351 517383
    1950 510243 1455916
    1973 1513070 3536622

    In other words, in the last 43 years of imperial rule in Russia, the economy grew a mere 2.78 fold while the U.S. grew 5.26 fold. In the first 60 years of Soviet rule, despite having to endure civil war and WWII, the Soviet economy grew 6.51 fold and the U.S. economy grew 6.84 fold. Fairly comparable performance.

    This is fairly simplistic analysis, I'll admit, and the statistics above are certainly questionable, but the fact of the matter is that the Soviet Union's principle cause of economic backwardness was the economic backwardness of the state it succeeded: Imperial Russia. They had a tremendous amount of catch up to do. Now, I'm not saying that I think that in the long run the Soviet economic system was as successful as the U.S. one, but the difference isn't purely due to communism vs capitalism. Not by a long shot.
     
  23. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #23
    The communist economic model was an utter failure. I lived through it. The culprit was the state ownership of all production facilities, which simply annihilated any need for competition. The result was a shoddy product quality and lack of innovation. The artificial employment which resulted in 0% unemployment level had negative impact on productivity, since one really couldn't get fired. There were some positive aspects to the system, namely the availability of free healthcare. Also, in part since the guns and drugs were unavailable to general population, the crime rates (at least the ones related to personal attacks were very, very low). I do recall that while growing up there I would not have any personal safety concerns when needing to cross any part of town, any time of day or night.
     
  24. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #24
    ^^ Except that the countries that now claim to be communist are (when they don't have a US trade embargo) among the most successful in the world economically - and they often do well on other measures too.
     
  25. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    Location:
    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    #25
    I don't think we'll have another USSR - we have big powers like China working in the UN and too many delicate and profitable agreements in the balance that only a really rebellious and (therefore unelectable) government would ruin.

    A good thing about an emergence of a power like that though would be to challenge the US and stop them invading other countries in this disgusting moral crusade that God's little manwhore Bush Snr and his cronies started.

    Would love to see Russia or China step in and say, if you go into Iran, we'll be there behind them. That would cut the nonsense right out.
     

Share This Page