The Soviet Collectivist Experiment: ‘Workers Of The World Unite’
The Soviet Union can be described as the ‘Pathfinder’ for Communism. Starting with Lenin’s Bolshevik Revolution, and up to its demise in 1991 under Gorbachev, one of the most significant Chapters in Communism’s story was undoubtedly inscribed in the Soviet Union.
The 1917 ‘Workers Revolution’ was plagued by uncertainty from the start, and required 3 years of brutal Civil War to consolidate and defeat the remnants of the Czarist Regime under Czar Nicholas II.
Maintaining the Soviet Union Unified and establishing its new independent identity as a legitimate State appears to have been one of the main challenges faced by Lenin and the Progenitors of the early Soviet State.
Civil Wars and repression campaigns against rebellious Republics like the Ukraine with their own Ethnic identity characterized Lenin’s rule and the early Soviet State.
Indeed Stalin’s own rise to power was paved by his close relationship to Lenin which came about in part because Lenin felt indebted to Stalin in helping him with his repression campaigns, including during the 1921 Russian famine in which millions of Ethnic Russians died of Starvation under a campaign overseen by Stalin.
In-fact, Lenin felt so grateful to Stalin, he referred to him affectionately as his ‘Little Georgian’ (Stalin was from the Province of Georgia).
However, physical repression was not enough, and so Mass Mind Control techniques through Propaganda and other Psy-Experiments were all considered and used by Lenin and the early Bolsheviks.
Lenin’s ‘ideal State’ was one in which the Citizens responded unquestioningly and obediently to all State commands in a hypnotic and Trance-like State. He even went as far as seeking the assistance of Russian Scientist Ivan Pavlov, famous for the ‘Pavlov Experiment’ which showed the power of consistent stimuli in producing conditioned behaviour in animals.
Lenin desired a ‘Conditioned State/Population’ which would seamlessly respond to and obey State Propaganda in a fashion identical to the way Pavlov’s dogs responded to the ‘meal bell’.
Mass Social Control was therefore the ‘ultimate solution’ to Lenin, and this tied in well with Lenin’s Social Darwinism which was consistent with Communism’s Darwinist Foundations.
Eventually at his death in 1924, Lenin had perhaps succeeded in implanting the idea of the ‘Soviet State’, and the task now fell to his favoured Lieutenant, Joseph Stalin to carry on where he left off.
The Stalin Era
After an internal struggle for power between Stalin and fellow Bolshevik Leon Trotsky, Stalin prevailed after Trotsky went into Exile where he was eventually killed in Mexico by a Russian Spy sent by Stalin.
Internally, Stalin sought to modernize the Soviet Union, and he initiated ‘5 Year Plans’ aimed it industrializing the predominantly Peasant Soviet Economy. Externally, Stalin saw the Soviet Union through World War 2 and the early part of the Cold War.
Stalin’s ‘5 Year Plans’ were brutal and costly to the Soviet Peasants who died and starved en masse in order to bankroll the Soviet Union’s modernisation programme. Repression epitomized by the infamous ‘Gulags’, massive Labour Camps in which Political Prisoners were kept and worked to death in Siberia, the coldest part of the Soviet Union.
In the end, Stalin’s rule marked a period of genocide in the Soviet Union following the death of millions during his rule. Nevertheless, he steered the Soviet Union through the NAZI terror, emerging as one of the World’s Powers at the end of World War 2, and the start of the Cold War. He also left a modern but heavily militarized Soviet Industry at his death in 1953.
Cold War, End & Legacy Of Soviet Communism
It was left to Nikita Kruschev to guide the Soviet Union through the Cold War which almost ended in global Nuclear disaster during the Cuban Missile Crises, a 1962 Nuclear standoff with the United States under JFK.
In the end, the Soviet Union crumbled under Gorbachev in 1991.
Bankrupt from decades of Cold War military overspending, this time around, the custom Elixir of State Repression and Propaganda could not keep the Soviet State intact.
It was officially dissolved into individual separate Republics like Estonia and the Ukraine.
Nevertheless, at its height, the influence of Soviet Propaganda gave a method to the madness of the NAZI Regime in Germany which we’ll explore next. The Soviet experiment also still resonates in Eastern Europe even though the Berlin Wall has since come down.
This in itself was part of the Cold War, a broader Geo-Political conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States.
The United States emerged the victor, and now the World waits with baited breath as it comes to terms with the new Chinese Imperialism, an evolution of the Chinese Communist State. North Korea’s recent increased Militarization and assertiveness also points to a new species of altered Communist State….The story of Communism has therefore not been concluded by America’s triumph over the Soviet Union in 1991.