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Old 08-09-2012, 08:28 AM
 
2,920 posts, read 2,508,640 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
Define your understanding of "individualism" first, as much as "independent thinking..."
Any definition will do.
- Every organization in Soviet Union was somehow tied to and controlled by the Communist Party.
- Soviet government never allowed any independent thinking or existence of independent organizations there.
- Almost every Soviet kid followed the same path: first join the controlled by the communist party "Pioneer" organization, then "Komsomol"...

If you think this atmosphere encouraged individuality then I can't help you


Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
I don't romanticize it, I simply learned to be more objective with time. Besides, everything is learned in comparison (I am talking about post-Soviet Russia in this case.)
You do romanticize the Soviet regime but it is only natural. With time we tend to forget the negative sides of events and remember/focus one the positive ones. That's our coping mechanism.
It's easy to forget the millions killed by the Communist regime if YOU survived, it is easy to praise the regime if YOU were never persecuted for you beliefs.
Talking about the opinion about Soviet Union from the Survivors: generally the less educated they are the more favorable is their view of Soviet Union.
Ignorance is a bliss and a lot of people in former Soviet Union simply did not know much about the world outside or even inside as the censorship in the Soviet media was strict and access to foreign media minimal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
And as I've said, I don't know much about Korea to begin with; I suspect I wouldn't feel comfortable in South Korea either.
You know a lot about North Korea, the basic communist concept is the same after all Soviet Union and China played a big role in establishing North Korean regime but
wow you can tell that you would feel uncomfortable in South Korea, since you claim you don't know much about that country, still puzzles me...

Last edited by rebel12; 08-09-2012 at 09:00 AM..
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:32 AM
 
28,900 posts, read 49,290,750 times
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There were a lot of factors in play. To credit any one cause at The Reason is to really be simple-minded.

1. The general economic contradictions of the place.
2. Chernobyl.
3. The loosening of state control.
4. The disproportionate share of GDP taken by the military.
5. The ongoing secrecy and squashing of initiative and innovation that persisted even as the world economy moved into the post-information age.
6. The vigorous response of the United States and the rest of the west to the Soviet expansionism of the 70s. Essentially, the West doubled down and forced the Soviets to ramp up military spending further, thereby taxing an already strained economy.
7. The ongoing ulcer of Afghanistan.
8. The collapse of the Soviet empire in Eastern Europe, thereby encouraging the dormant nationalism of the Soviet Union's ethnic republics.
9. Central economic planing.
10. The complete lack of a truthful economic picture, which in turn destroyed any hope realistic central economic planning. All the Soviet numbers were fudged from the lowest municipalities on up. Any China watchers paying attention?
11. The complete loss of any claim of moral superiority to the West. In the 30s, 40s, and 50s, the Soviets still claimed to be a credible alternative. But the invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia, the brutal invasion of Afghanistan, and writers such as Solzhenitsyn completely stripped the Soviet Union of its egalitarian fig leaf, exposing it as just another brutal totalitarian state.
12. The defeat of the Soviet Union's hockey team at the 1980 Winter Olympics. I just threw that in to see if you were reading.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:26 AM
 
19,435 posts, read 16,088,569 times
Reputation: 8383
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel12 View Post
Any definition will do.
- Every organization in Soviet Union was somehow tied to and controlled by the Communist Party.
- Soviet government never allowed any independent thinking or existence of independent organizations there.
- Almost every Soviet kid followed the same path: first join the controlled by the communist party "Pioneer" organization, then "Komsomol"...

If you think this atmosphere encouraged individuality then I can't help you
If "any definition will do," then give it to me; I didn't ask for a list of activities of "Soviet kids."
If you can't operate on anything but old and tired cliches, than I can't help you either.


Quote:
You do romanticize the Soviet regime but it is only natural. With time we tend to forget the negative sides of events and remember/focus one the positive ones. That's our coping mechanism.
So are you trying to cope here or what? Is it the reason why you are telling all that?

Quote:
You know a lot about North Korea, the basic communist concept is the same after all Soviet Union and China played a big role in establishing North Korean regime but
wow you can tell that you would feel uncomfortable in South Korea, since you claim you don't know much about that country, still puzzles me...
Wow it's not all that difficult to understand, particularly when you read this thread.

//www.city-data.com/forum/world...og-meat-2.html

I remember one particular account of a Russian tourist is Korea long time ago, when she saw a cute puppy on the market, pointed at it, and asked an interpreter to tell the seller that she'd like to purchase the dog. They brought her that puppy chopped to pieces.
Of course it's an Asian culture, but since the philosophy behind it is obviously different comparably to what I am used to, I am really not all that eager to learn what else I might find unacceptable.

Last edited by erasure; 08-09-2012 at 11:38 AM..
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:36 AM
 
19,435 posts, read 16,088,569 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth-Kaunda View Post
How did one become a party member in the SU, back in the day?
Don't remember all the details, but I think you had to be recommended by other party members at your place of work.
(Generally speaking this was a Russian cultural approach that I find strikingly different with American culture; talking about himself/herself in a positive light ( i.e. "selling" oneself to a potential employer/customer) was considered a bad tone, a bragging; people were raised in modesty and belief that it was up to others to praise their qualities and accomplishments.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:15 PM
 
2,920 posts, read 2,508,640 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
Don't remember all the details, but I think you had to be recommended by other party members at your place of work.
(Generally speaking this was a Russian cultural approach that I find strikingly different with American culture; talking about himself/herself in a positive light ( i.e. "selling" oneself to a potential employer/customer) was considered a bad tone, a bragging; people were raised in modesty and belief that it was up to others to praise their qualities and accomplishments.
In the same time Communists have no problem praising themselves and their leaders.
Soviet propaganda machine was second to none. Stalin practically invented cult of personality in its modern form.

Last edited by rebel12; 08-09-2012 at 12:24 PM..
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:23 PM
 
14,781 posts, read 38,709,764 times
Reputation: 14503
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
There were a lot of factors in play. To credit any one cause at The Reason is to really be simple-minded.

...

12. The defeat of the Soviet Union's hockey team at the 1980 Winter Olympics. I just threw that in to see if you were reading.
See, I think it goes back a little further then that to 1976. It's amazing how hockey parallels world events, lol. Beginning in the mid-1970's the Soviets began sending some of their top teams on international exhibition tours. Their best team was the near invincible Soviet Red Army Team led by Kharlamov and Tretiak. The reason for the tours was to raise money to support the Soviet hockey programs. The western teams paid the Soviets for their apperances and covered the travel expenses.

The Soviets had a great record against the western teams overall and had not suffered a single defeat until 1976. The Soviet Red Army Team was scheduled to play 4 games against NHL teams on NHL rinks with NHL rules. Travelling with them were the Soviet Wings who also played a slate of games in the 75/76 "Super Series".

The games went like this:

Red Army beat the NY Rangers 7-3
Soviet Wings beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 7-4
Red Army tied the Montreal Canadiens 3-3
Soviet Wings lost to the Buffalo Sabres 12-6
Red Army beat the Boston Bruins 5-2
Soviet Wings beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-2
Soviet Wings beat the NY Islanders 2-1

The final matchup was Red Army against the defending Stanley Cup champion Philadelphia Flyers at the Spectrum in South Philly. The game was broadcast worldwide, including to the Soviet Union. All along the tour the Soviet teams had been met cordially with no major displays of nationalism by anyone. The fans politely cheered for both sides in a display of sportsmanship. This was not to be the case in Philadelphia.

At the pre-game meet and greet the Flyers and Soviets stood on opposite ends of the room and didn't talk. Flyers owner Ed Snider had learned a Russian phrase that would wish good luck to both teams. When he took the podium he only made a few terse remarks and omitted the phrase. He was later quoted as saying, "when I looked at those cold faces, I just couldn't do it." His sentiments were echoed by Flyer's captain Bob Clarke who summed it up by saying "we hated those bastards".

When the Soviets entered the Spectrum they were greeted by a sea of red, white and blue and a chorus of boo's that eventually transitioned into an endless "USA USA USA" chant (we'll forgive the fine citizens of Philadelphia for forgetting their team was mostly Canadians, lol). It was obvious that this was not going to be like the other games.

The game started and with the score tied 0-0 in the first period, the Flyers Ed Van Impe stepped out of the penalty box and delivered a massive check to Kharlamov. Kharlamov fell to the ice and lay prone for over a minute while the crowd seethed and screamed its approval. The Soviets protested that no penalty had been called and the referees deemed it a clean hit. In a fit, the Soviets stormed off the ice and back into the lockerroom with Ed Snider hot on their tails.

Snider, with a chorus of "USA USA USA" echoing through the building threatened the Soviets that if they didn't get back on the ice and finish the game, that he would personally consider their contract void and that they wouldn't be paid for the entire series. The Soviets returned their team to the ice only to be taken apart by the Flyers in a 4-1 loss that featured a shorthanded goal by the Flyers worst offensive player, defenseman Joe Watson, against Tretiak. A goal that the players joke "set the Soviet hockey program back 25 years".

Tretiak still says that the Flyers played "rude hockey" and the Soviet coach Loktev told the media that the Flyers were "a bunch of animals". Pravda summed it up best with their cartoon of the Flyers:


The story doesn't end there though. Not even a decade later, the Soviets opened up their players to be contracted by NHL teams. Snider, with his long festering hatred of the Soviets refused to sign any players. However, his reasoning wasn't that he hated Russians, quite the opposite. He hated the fact that a large portion of the contract for the player was to be paid directly to the Soviet state. In the midst of their economic turmoil, they were attempting to raise money by renting their prized hockey players out to the west.

Whether it is the Soviet need for US wheat imports in the 1970's against the backdrop of letting their prized hockey team get the crap beat out of them by the Flyers in exchange for money or the acceleration of the arms race, invasion of Afghanistan and the global drop in oil prices in the 1980's against the backdrop of the Soviets renting out their hockey players...the story is all the same. A long period of economic decline that finally reached the breaking point both internally and externally.

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Old 08-09-2012, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
48,571 posts, read 20,608,863 times
Reputation: 20994
So it was the Phillie hockey fans and not Ronnie who won the Cold War.
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:39 PM
 
14,781 posts, read 38,709,764 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
So it was the Phillie hockey fans and not Ronnie who won the Cold War.
Bingo.

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Old 08-09-2012, 01:18 PM
 
19,435 posts, read 16,088,569 times
Reputation: 8383
Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel12 View Post
In the same time Communists have no problem praising themselves and their leaders.
Funny thing - they actually never did. You'd never heard Brezhnev saying "I did this and that, therefore look how great I am as a national leader;" it were always his comrades who'd always start the speech with something like "Dear Leonid Ilyitch..." So they were still sticking to the same rule, may be with very few exceptions.)))

Quote:
Soviet propaganda machine was second to none. Stalin practically invented cult of personality in its modern form.
True that, but don't forget that Stalin's and post-Stalin's Russia is not one and the same thing.
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Old 08-09-2012, 01:28 PM
 
19,435 posts, read 16,088,569 times
Reputation: 8383
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
There were a lot of factors in play. To credit any one cause at The Reason is to really be simple-minded.

1. The general economic contradictions of the place.
2. Chernobyl.
3. The loosening of state control.
4. The disproportionate share of GDP taken by the military.
5. The ongoing secrecy and squashing of initiative and innovation that persisted even as the world economy moved into the post-information age.
6. The vigorous response of the United States and the rest of the west to the Soviet expansionism of the 70s. Essentially, the West doubled down and forced the Soviets to ramp up military spending further, thereby taxing an already strained economy.
7. The ongoing ulcer of Afghanistan.
8. The collapse of the Soviet empire in Eastern Europe, thereby encouraging the dormant nationalism of the Soviet Union's ethnic republics.
9. Central economic planing.
10. The complete lack of a truthful economic picture, which in turn destroyed any hope realistic central economic planning. All the Soviet numbers were fudged from the lowest municipalities on up. Any China watchers paying attention?
11. The complete loss of any claim of moral superiority to the West. In the 30s, 40s, and 50s, the Soviets still claimed to be a credible alternative. But the invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia, the brutal invasion of Afghanistan, and writers such as Solzhenitsyn completely stripped the Soviet Union of its egalitarian fig leaf, exposing it as just another brutal totalitarian state.
12. The defeat of the Soviet Union's hockey team at the 1980 Winter Olympics. I just threw that in to see if you were reading.
Quite honestly I would dismiss a lot of points as the reason for collapse ( I mean "Central planning" was essential for the whole Soviet project, "dormant nationalism of Soviet republics" could remain dormant for another 100 years, the venture in Afghanistan couldn't have been all that lethal either (after all America was in Vietnam, so what 's a big deal here?) however if I'd point at the most important factor, that would be probably it;

The ongoing secrecy and squashing of initiative and innovation that persisted even as the world economy moved into the post-information age.

That's what truly brought Soviet system to crash I think. As I've been told by my grand-mother long time ago, "if any nation will start suppressing its own most advanced and capable people, it will nose dive sooner or later - any nation."
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