18,000 words are not sufficient to convince me that socialism is anything but a failure.
well, you haven't read it have you?
Marxist theory predicted that socialism would be impossible in an isolated backward country. Russia was backward. Therefore socialism could only exist if it spread to advanced countries. The German revolution was crushed by 30,000 soldiers. That was more or less the death warrant for socialism in Russia. Of course they had to keep trying. A second revolution was wasted in Germany. Other revolutions were similarly crushed eg the Hungarian on crushed by Romanian troops.
Ok, I cant explain it all now but Russia was democratic in 1918. It was a coalition of Bolsheviks and Left SRs, but the Left SRs pulled out of government over Lenin's peace deal with Germany. They went over to sabotage, ie became the enemy. Of course a lot of their members later joined the Bolshevik Party. Same happened with other parties, the best people joined the Bolsheviks and the rest were fighting on the enemy side. This is how a one party state emerged. But it was a democratic party.
In 1923 Trotsky wrote the New Course, warning of the dangers of growing bureaucratism. The fact that all these people had joined was actually a problem, many of them were not socialists! Thousands were kicked out, but they rejoined in greater numbers.
Lenin warned that a few thousand communists could not direct that hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats, administrators, specialists and so on they inherited from the Tsar, in fact he said it was the other way round. And not only that, the Bolshevik culture could get overwhelmed by this petty bourgeois culture.
Lenin set up an organisation to fight corruption and bureaucratism unfortunately it was headed by Stalin. He also got later shunted into the non-job of party secretary, but used that position to build a base of cronies.
Lenin said on his deathbed that he wanted Stalin out, but that never got carried out as the message got to too few people, too late.
Stalin personified the degeneration (slow collapse) of the revolution. By 1928 he was consciously working to STOP SOCIALIST REVOLUTIONS happening around the world, although he did lurch to a pseudo-left position from 1928 to 1934. One reason for that was his former power base, the middle class, growing to become a threat. This zigzag was called the Third Period.
He invented the theories of Socialism in One Country, the Two Stage Theory, or Stagism, and Popular Fronts (collaboration with capitalism) to sabotage revolutions around the world.
The irony is, in backward countries, capitalism is often incapable of carrying out even the most basic progress such as kicking out colonial rulers, so these countries are very prone to revolutions, but they have little chance of leading to socialism because:
1. They are backward so socialism is impossible unless backed up by a genuine socialist revolution in advanced countries. Socialism is based on the urban working class.
2. Stalinism sabotaged or corrupted them, I can give dozens of examples.
3.Their leaders are generally not Marxists, more like nationalists wanting to carry out land reform (land to the peasants), kick out colonial rulers, and implement democracy. But these plans fail, partly because the bourgeois are incapable of a progressive coalition, other reasons also, a bit complicated. So people like Mao end up collectivising even though that was never on the agenda initially. Castro did it because the industry was mostly American owned and the American business owners were trying to sabotage the revolution, probably directed by Washington.
By the way, Chile had a democratically elected socialist government. America organised a bloody coup.
Yes there has been misery. The Russian revolution happened in a less than ideal place. Why? Well, the Tsar had taken Russia into WW1, a bloody imperialist carve-up, and 3 million Russians had died. A revolution was the only way they could force a peace.
When the Bolsheviks took power. 2 people died. Ho many died in the American revolution and civil war, the English civil war (bourgeois revolution), the French revolution (ditto), the capitalist WW1, WW2, the cold war launched by Truman, despite Stalin wanting to be an ally.
In Indonesia, Suharto killed a million unarmed civilians while the leders in Britain and America literally clapped their hands and whooped for joy, Thatcher later described him as a very dear friend.
Yet it communism thats the bad system, a system which has never ever been allowed to succeed. Yes it failed in Russia. 200,000 British, American and Japanese troops aiding the counter-revolutionaries didnt help, not did the west's economic blockade to starve the Russians.
"in reality it was the Communists above all others who prevented revolution in Spain" George OrwellEconomic Left/Right: -10.0 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.31