‘The political desperadoes and ignoramuses, who say they would “Rather be Dead than Red”, should be told that no one will stop them from committing suicide, but they have no right to provoke a third world war.’ — Morris Kominsky, 1970
This is a quick and dirty response on my part, but these resources may be of some help. Alternatively, this (Trotskyist) woman’s video or the reports from Westerners like Bullitt, Pettit, and Steffens may answer some of your fraining
This is late to the party, but since I realized it today I want to mention somewhere that George Washington would have qualified as ‘dictatorial’ or ‘illegitimate’ by neoliberal standards. Not only because of his régime’s suppression, but also because he ran for election unopposed and got 100% of the vote twice… I am sure that neoliberals can concoct some clever ad hoc excuse to exempt all this, though.
Citations Needed published a great episode about this a few years ago. There’s a sort of subconscious effort to characterize the phenomenon as somehow ‘Soviet’ or otherwise ‘un‐American’ when it’s really just a natural byproduct of noticing inconsistencies.
Despite being mentioned so frequently today, I’ve been having an extremely difficult time actually finding particular examples of Soviets dismissing accusations of human rights abuses by simply changing the subject, either to lynchings in the U.S. or something else. Supposedly they pulled this maneuver almost all the time, and yet drudging through Google Books for examples (“are lynching” + Soviet) from 1917 to 1991 reveal no relevant results — no quotations from Soviets using this rhetorical maneuver or even somebody mentioning a Soviet doing it. The Soviets did indeed discuss the phenomenon, but so far I haven’t found an actual example of them mentioning it as a means of changing the subject, even though they supposedly did this very frequently.
Excellent. This is somewhat similar to my sentiment, only yours is much more developed compared to mine. Your commentary explains why the Russian Federation’s actions in this context cannot be understood simply as imperialist competition in the vein of WWI, an interpretation that the (ultra)left favors excessively. Mine is basically just some raw anti‐imperialism; a conclusion that the (ultra)leftists, repeatedly reminding everybody that the Russian Federation is a capitalist state with its own neoimperial interests, are only missing the point here.
Assuming that I still can’t find a socialist movement in my locality, I would consider travelling to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and offer my labor to any commune that wants it. That said, emigration is expensive and my family would be deeply upset if I tried to travel that far, so it would be too inconvenient for me. Ideally we should focus on trying to strengthen the proletariat here, but with such limited opportunities I can understand why somebody would rather go elsewhere.
In terms of fiction, I recently started on Pictures of the Socialistic Future. It isn’t horribly long, but I can already tell that it’s going to be a chore to read.
The author considered personal property synonymous with private property (‘such as furniture, old clothes, bank-notes, and the like’), but most amusingly, the citizenry in this commulist dystopia—where decommodification of goods and services is clearly on the rise—are pissed off that the State is seizing their savings bank funds, which makes about as much sense as two gangs fighting over a used toilette brush.
I have a feeling that this story is just to be the unabridged version of this post, but I’ll be nice and reserve my judgement until I finish it.
ETA: I should mention that, in terms of nonfiction, I recently started on The Gestapo, but I’ve been rather negligent with reading my nonfiction lately.