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Old 08-11-2013, 04:12 AM
 
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It is hard to argue that we went overboard now that we know the true horror of Communism. What was the final death toll? 200 million dead?
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Old 08-11-2013, 07:03 AM
 
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One individual, Stephane Courtois, a French historian of the CP and the editor of the Balck Book of Communisn, suggested 100 mil.
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Old 08-11-2013, 07:50 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travric View Post
One individual, Stephane Courtois, a French historian of the CP and the editor of the Balck Book of Communisn, suggested 100 mil.
He "suggested" 94 million, which is the absolute highest number he could subjectively squeeze out of a lot of highly specious data, while blaming every single death directly on communism. Two-thirds of those were in China alone -- 65 million out of a total of over a billion people, who were dying of poverty in the first place. And, he is counting everyone whose life was shortened by hunger or what he calls "artificial famine". Genuine scholarship produces a reasonable number of about 40-million, in a county where the life expectancy was under age 30 already, and it took very little "artificial famine" to push them over the edge into Courtois' statistical smear.

He makes no reference to the "artificial famine" in the USA in the 1930s, which significantly shortened the lives of many millions of Americans, in a situation what was largely exacerbated by the abject greed of American capitalists who failed (oir refused) to provide for a population dependent on private sector employment for their livelihood. Those American deaths are perfectly analogous to people in China whose lives were shortened in similar ways, and gleefully reported by Courtois. Forty million Chinese would be the equivalent of four million Americans during the depression, and a critic as shrill as Courtois could have easily claimed that.

Not counting China, the number falls to about 30-million, which is in the same neighborhood as those attributable to Hitler, King Leopold, Hirohito,the Irish potato famine et.al., who were most emphatically not communists. And the cumulative numbers of "disappearances" that can be directly blamed on lesser but rabid anti-communists like the Shah, Marcos, Mobutu, Sukarno, Pinochet, Salazar. Several million people have been tortured and/or murdered by petty despots using arms and weapons that arrived in boxes stenciled "gift from the people of the Unites States of America".

So, in the past few posts, we have seen people already with low chances of survival dying in world-war-times to the tune of 40 million, exaggerated to 65 million, padded to 94 million, rounded off to 100 million, and doubled to 200 million, all blamed on an economic idea and then presented as the conventional wisdom that colors the opinions of those who have already been subjected their whole lives by a mindless intensive propaganda campaign by people like Jesse Helms to discredit a political philosophy that has enabled China to now reach the brink of global economic supremacy in a half a century, where the "victim's" expected longevity has more than doubled.

This is not to say communism is blameless. To be sure, there have been zealous practitioners of communism who rose to power and abused their privilege, and as in any march, it is the weak who are trampled, perhaps including millions of Chinese who might have otherwise survived to full and productive old age. But it is a far reach to say that communism sets out with the intention of destroying people lives while capitalism has the wellbeing of the weak uppermost in its mind, leaving no victims.

Last edited by jtur88; 08-11-2013 at 08:56 AM..
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Old 08-11-2013, 03:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by travric View Post
Yes, I know it was a tough call. But a little gas and a little farther push east of the Elbe maybe with Patton could've arguably could have given some more breathing room to put a little more 'geography' between the Soviets and there future satellite conquests. It seeemd the US was asleep at not knowing that the Soviets were going to be quite a formidable opponent. The thing was Churchill and the US didn't know at the time that Stalin was going to be a complete liar after what he said at Yalta. He said the 'liberated' lands were going to be independent and have free elections.
So...the expulsion of communists from French and Italian governments as a condition for implementation of Marchall Plan - should we consider it "free elections" then I suppose?...

"The Communists came out extraordinarily strengthened from the Resistance, in terms of both organisation and prestige. With the liberation of France in 1944, the PCF, along with other resistance groups, entered the government of Charles de Gaulle. As in post-war Italy, the communists were very popular and formed one of the major political forces in the country. The PCF was nicknamed the "party of the 75,000 executed people" (le parti des 75 000 fusillés) because of its important role during the Resistance."

"The party's strong electoral showing and surge in membership led some observers, including American under-secretary of state Dean Acheson, to believe that a Communist takeover of France was imminent. A number of factors came to precipitate the expulsion of all PCF ministers from Paul Ramadier's government in May 1947. Abroad, the PCF refused to vote war credits for the First Indochina War and the violent repression of the Madagascar insurrection by the SFIO government created strains with its coalition partners. The United States were worried of communist power in France and Italy, and conditioned Marshall Plan aid to the expulsion of communists from governments in both countries. Domestically, large-scale strikes broke out at Renault factories in April 1947. The PCF was finally expelled from government in May 1947, the same time as the Italian Communist Party (PCI) were expelled from the Italian government. The PCF responded with a series of strikes and sabotages."

French Communist Party - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Last edited by erasure; 08-11-2013 at 03:24 PM..
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Old 08-11-2013, 03:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Your original statement:


When was that right time?

Marxism, the foundation of the communist governments which came into being, was a doctrine designed for reordering the social and economic structure of industrialized societies, so Native Americans or 1960's commune hippies aren't going to be examples of it working well or poorly.
I am not all that familiar with Marxist theory, so thanks for bringing the point across right away.
The key word here is "industrialized societies" I believe, and Russia ( according to Marx himself) didn't belong to such societies. That's why I pointed out earlier that Russia ( while sharing certain features with Western Europe) shared at the same time a lot with societies that practiced that "for the good of the collective" mentality - i.e. cultures that I believe are much older than modern nations as we know them.
As for "1960ies commune hippies" - I always thought that it was rather odd occurrence, borrowed from somewhere else and implemented on the wrong turf so to speak.
The bearded and unkempt Anglo-Saxons dancing to "Kumbaya" tune and all that "sexual liberation" that it brought, seemed very misplaced, unfitting and strange to me.

Last edited by erasure; 08-11-2013 at 04:04 PM..
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
Ok, so we all know the tragedies of the US's overreaction to the communist/USSR threat during the cold war: Vietnam, Shah in Iran, Cuba, push for interstate system/suburban sprawl... all in the name of defense. But did the US have to do this? Did it have to be so aggressive to preserve the free world we have today? How much of a margin of error did the US have in the Cold War?
I don't accept that the interstate highway system was an overreaction to communism. The national defense justification may have been bogus but the end result was a positive development for the the economy and the country.
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:27 PM
 
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I will say again: it was not Communism (per se) that killed all of those people in Russia and Asia. It was dictatorship of the most ruthless kind. I don't defend the theories behind Communism, but they have never been tried in their pure form, and probably never will be. If one wants to deplore what happened in China, Russia, Cambodia, etc., one should deplore dictatorship. It's that simple.
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
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Originally Posted by tovarisch View Post
I will say again: it was not Communism (per se) that killed all of those people in Russia and Asia. It was dictatorship of the most ruthless kind. I don't defend the theories behind Communism, but they have never been tried in their pure form, and probably never will be. If one wants to deplore what happened in China, Russia, Cambodia, etc., one should deplore dictatorship. It's that simple.
The most crucial question in evaluating any theory is....does it work?

If getting a population to cooperate with the ends of a socialist society requires continuous coercion, then that is indeed a flaw in the theory, not just in the application. The theory foresaw voluntary cooperation to such a degree that eventually there would be no more need for a state structure at all...it would whither away.

So far all of the Marxist/Communist governments which have come into being have proven to require that coercion and no withering away of any sort has taken place in any of them.

It is a bad theory if putting it into practice demands that what you predicted would be voluntary turns out to be compulsory. It is bad theory if it only works on paper, not in practice.
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
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What bought about about communism to any of these countries, most generally it was the result of capitalistic excesses and abuses?

So! Why weren't we publicly condemning those excesses and abuses before communism reared its head, whether it be Russia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Cambodia, Vietnam? Why weren't we warning them: You keep this up and your capitalistic system is going to go bye-bye?

Unfortunately, the more compassionate capitalists get swept under the rug with all the others. Smirnov, the millionaire vodka maker in Russia, before Lenin, was one of them. Unlike his competitors, he paid the highest wages, offered free housing and medical care, unheard of back then. But under the rug he went!

What's so scarey about all this is the saying: So easy to become what we hate!
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:41 PM
 
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This is not to say communism is blameless. To be sure, there have been zealous practitioners of communism who rose to power and abused their privilege, and as in any march, it is the weak who are trampled, perhaps including millions of Chinese who might have otherwise survived to full and productive old age. But it is a far reach to say that communism sets out with the intention of destroying people lives while capitalism has the wellbeing of the weak uppermost in its mind, leaving no victims.

Well here's the thing if I may. Lenin and those who came after him did a bit more than the Czars when it came to holding power. Where the Czars tinkered with the peasants, Lenin et al wanted to reform humanity and we saw mass killing resulted while implementing the change. Well there was the theory but then there was the execution. Something went awry there. Pretty bad evil I'd say. The 'ism' today after what has been uncovered about it doesn't have a leg to stand on. Even the French intellectuals cringe at the former position.
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