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KomissarBojanchev
Walther von Oldenburg
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    Better USSR (alt. history)

    Walther von Oldenburg
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    Better USSR (alt. history) Empty Better USSR (alt. history)

    Post  Walther von Oldenburg Tue Feb 24, 2015 12:07 pm

    There are several plausible historical scenerios leading to a better 20th century Russia. I want to concentrate on an alternative USSR.

    What about such a scenerio?
    1. Stalin comes to power but he follows Lenin's recommendations that New Economic Policy should stay for at least several decades (it does not matter why he does not revoke it - may even be a quantum fluctuation altering his mind). The Great Patriotic War follows the same course as it did but standard of living is less affected and it's recovery is faster after the war. Other communist countries follow the same model of economy.
    2. After Stalin's death in 1953, Khrushchev comes to power and in mid and late 1950s he introduces minor economic reforms - inspired by NEP's success.

    ... and I have no idea what might've happened next. The goal is to have China-style reforms early or mid 1960s and further reforms in 1970s and 1980s. Trade policy should stay the same - a closed economic system within the communist block, with minimal exports and imports to countries outside the bloc.

    Any ideas?
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    Post  KomissarBojanchev Tue Feb 24, 2015 1:48 pm

    1. Stalin listens to his spies and strengthens his border in 1941 quickly thwarting operation barbarossa and thus without the massive nazi genocide and pillaging the USSR becomes the absolute world power and the capitalist powers and anticommunist crusade type imperialism quickly lose popularity.

    2. Stalin lives into the 60s and instead of focusing on an isolationist MAD based policy like khruschev builds a massive blue water fleet and with it's help topples many right wing juntas, thwarts almost all CIA backed coup attempts or NATO invasions around the world and in much of the americas thus stopping economic isolation and getting the upper hand in the cold war. Stalin also wises up and reforms the government to be non noncorrupt and nonbureaucratic. democratic true marxist leninist government. USSR and china stay allied so china gets far more technologicly advanced thus accelarating its economic and military power and the 2 countries together form the most powerful most socially fair power in the world ushering a new age of socialism where the bourgoisie no longer has all the financial and political power, and the working class has meaningful influence.

    3. The 1905 revolution is succesful and a democratuc USSR is formed with the various anticapitalist parties fighting over influence in elections thus causing certain inefficiency. Nevertheless with intelligent technocratic and realistic rule, the USSR doesn't participate in WW1, so it doesn't lose poland(it becomes a loyal soviet republic) and the baltics(there is much less antirussian sentiment there) , nor massive economic and military losses. and instead strengthens in the 1920s to completely crush japan and making it a socialist satellite. Into the 30s it becomes the the premier most supported, technologically and militarily(this uSSR focuses more on naval strength due to a feeling for revenge from teh tsushima defeat) advanced nation on earth, fights several wars with the united western colonial empires, wins them and frees much of the world from anglosaxon bourgois slavery and exploitation. By the 21st century this USSR ushers a new age of united world socialism where ideologies such as economic liberalism, monarchism, all religions and social darwinism are very unpopular.
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    Post  KoTeMoRe Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:22 am

    Walther von Oldenburg wrote:There are several plausible historical scenerios leading to a better 20th century Russia. I want to concentrate on an alternative USSR.

    What about such a scenerio?
    1. Stalin comes to power but he follows Lenin's recommendations that New Economic Policy should stay for at least several decades (it does not matter why he does not revoke it - may even be a quantum fluctuation altering his mind). The Great Patriotic War follows the same course as it did but standard of living is less affected and it's recovery is faster after the war. Other communist countries follow  the same model of economy.
    2. After Stalin's death in 1953, Khrushchev comes to power and in mid and late 1950s he introduces minor economic reforms - inspired by NEP's success.

    ... and I have no idea what might've happened next. The goal is to have China-style reforms  early or mid 1960s and further reforms in 1970s and 1980s. Trade policy should stay the same - a closed economic system within the communist block, with minimal exports and imports to countries outside the bloc.

    Any ideas?
    *In the following I'll use Russia and SSSR unvariably of their meaning at the time. sorry for the confusion.


    NEP would have exhausted the SSSR on the long term. The primarily agricultural nation that what Russia then, had three flaws.

    a. It's main exports are raw materials and agricultural products.
    b. Those are affected under typical Market consideration by the terms of trade. Badly. So while Russia could have exported its grain and ore for a good price initially, the terms of exchange would have worsened to imports, since Russia was in dire need of modernization.
    c. That modernization leads to a urban exodus, inevitably. One that is far less controllable with the NEP and hurts the basis of the NEP as follows. As the terms of exchange worsen for the raw material exporters in favour of high value goods (look at today) and substitution takes time, Russia would have slowly needed more people to both work at the fields and become workers. This is the typical paradox of transforming economies. It is often solved by a mix of population growth and gradual modernization of the agriculture and/or bigger import penetration to sustain the needs of the population.
    d. Then you have the balancing of the market. If the NEP works for the farmers, the industry will raise its prices to keep up the revenue, plus political pressure to perform. Why work in factory when you earn more by working on a farm?

    You have then to take in account the Soviet nature, it is a socialist country and has VERY little room to breathe internationally. This was evident at the Genoa Conference when the Allies asked the SSSR to pay the Imperial pre-war debt. In lieu, the Soviets went on to sign the Rapallo treaty that would ultimately be very beneficial the Germany and the SSSR, but that would show the limits of a raw material exporter scheme for modernization overtime.

    Now the SSSR wasn't a desert, it had brains and potential, but with the NEP the transition would have been longer and probably as (or even more chaotic).

    While criminal, the dekulakisation was a product of the NEP "shortcomings" and helped stifle dissent and reorganize a Russian traditional country that had not moved since the early 20th century.

    Furthermore the Georgian MOFO had this illumination about the 1929 crisis that contributed to the aura, big mustache would have among intellectuals. Bukharin fell of his chair during Black Thursday and Tuesday. Literally. So no, the NEP was a dead end, Stalin knew it, it wasn't a politically viable option for the Soviet leadership. And it would have aggravated the cost of modernization overtime. Dutch disease redux...

    On the Chinese reforms during the 70's, how can you have a Chinese styled reform while your potential big investor is your biggest challenger and declared enemy. Furthermore, how would you like to develop the said reforms if your EcoPol is about Close Circuitry? China made that quantum leap in late 70's because the Chinese geared towards a State controlled economy serving as an export base, earning hard cash.

    Russia never ever tried so by playing with oil prices. Even when it could in the early 70's. This was a mistake and a costly one. Soviets playing nice with the capitalist pigs during oil crisis in 73 would have eased some tensions and MAYBE allowed some Chinese style reforming and investment....
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    Better USSR (alt. history) Empty Re: Better USSR (alt. history)

    Post  type055 Tue May 05, 2015 11:17 am

    KoTeMoRe wrote:
    Walther von Oldenburg wrote:There are several plausible historical scenerios leading to a better 20th century Russia. I want to concentrate on an alternative USSR.

    What about such a scenerio?
    1. Stalin comes to power but he follows Lenin's recommendations that New Economic Policy should stay for at least several decades (it does not matter why he does not revoke it - may even be a quantum fluctuation altering his mind). The Great Patriotic War follows the same course as it did but standard of living is less affected and it's recovery is faster after the war. Other communist countries follow  the same model of economy.
    2. After Stalin's death in 1953, Khrushchev comes to power and in mid and late 1950s he introduces minor economic reforms - inspired by NEP's success.

    ... and I have no idea what might've happened next. The goal is to have China-style reforms  early or mid 1960s and further reforms in 1970s and 1980s. Trade policy should stay the same - a closed economic system within the communist block, with minimal exports and imports to countries outside the bloc.

    Any ideas?
    *In the following I'll use Russia and SSSR unvariably of their meaning at the time. sorry for the confusion.


    NEP would have exhausted the SSSR on the long term. The primarily agricultural nation that what Russia then, had three flaws.

    a. It's main exports are raw materials and agricultural products.
    b. Those are affected under typical Market consideration by the terms of trade. Badly. So while Russia could have exported its grain and ore for a good price initially, the terms of exchange would have worsened to imports, since Russia was in dire need of modernization.
    c. That modernization leads to a urban exodus, inevitably. One that is far less controllable with the NEP and hurts the basis of the NEP as follows. As the terms of exchange worsen for the raw material exporters in favour of high value goods (look at today) and substitution takes time, Russia would have slowly needed more people to both work at the fields and become workers. This is the typical paradox of transforming economies. It is often solved by a mix of population growth and gradual modernization of the agriculture and/or bigger import penetration to sustain the needs of the population.
    d. Then you have the balancing of the market. If the NEP works for the farmers, the industry will raise its prices to keep up the revenue, plus political pressure to perform. Why work in factory when you earn more by working on a farm?

    You have then to take in account the Soviet nature, it is a socialist country and has VERY little room to breathe internationally. This was evident at the Genoa Conference when the Allies asked the SSSR to pay the Imperial pre-war debt. In lieu, the Soviets went on to sign the Rapallo treaty that would ultimately be very beneficial the Germany and the SSSR, but that would show the limits of a raw material exporter scheme for modernization overtime.

    Now the SSSR wasn't a desert, it had brains and potential, but with the NEP the transition would have been longer and probably as (or even more chaotic).

    While criminal, the dekulakisation was a product of the NEP "shortcomings" and helped stifle dissent and reorganize a Russian traditional country that had not moved since the early 20th century.

    Furthermore the Georgian MOFO had this illumination about the 1929 crisis that contributed to the aura, big mustache would have among intellectuals. Bukharin fell of his chair during Black Thursday and Tuesday. Literally. So no, the NEP was a dead end, Stalin knew it, it wasn't a politically viable option for the Soviet leadership. And it would have aggravated the cost of modernization overtime. Dutch disease redux...

    On the Chinese reforms during the 70's, how can you have a Chinese styled reform while your potential big investor is your biggest challenger and declared enemy. Furthermore, how would you like to develop the said reforms if your EcoPol is about Close Circuitry? China made that quantum leap in late 70's because the Chinese geared towards a State controlled economy serving as an export base, earning hard cash.

    Russia never ever tried so by playing with oil prices. Even when it could in the early 70's. This was a mistake and a costly one. Soviets playing nice with the capitalist pigs during oil crisis in 73 would have eased some tensions and MAYBE allowed some Chinese style reforming and investment....
    In 1970s Russia and China were enemy, they both put millions of troops along the border. When China start economy reform, USSR call it revisionism. The nature of capitalism is to chase profit maximization. It has a possibilty other countries will invest Russia.
    Maybe Chinese style econmy reform don't fit Russia. But I think USSR should reform gradually like China.
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    Post  KoTeMoRe Tue May 05, 2015 11:46 am

    type055 wrote:
    KoTeMoRe wrote:
    Walther von Oldenburg wrote:There are several plausible historical scenerios leading to a better 20th century Russia. I want to concentrate on an alternative USSR.

    What about such a scenerio?
    1. Stalin comes to power but he follows Lenin's recommendations that New Economic Policy should stay for at least several decades (it does not matter why he does not revoke it - may even be a quantum fluctuation altering his mind). The Great Patriotic War follows the same course as it did but standard of living is less affected and it's recovery is faster after the war. Other communist countries follow  the same model of economy.
    2. After Stalin's death in 1953, Khrushchev comes to power and in mid and late 1950s he introduces minor economic reforms - inspired by NEP's success.

    ... and I have no idea what might've happened next. The goal is to have China-style reforms  early or mid 1960s and further reforms in 1970s and 1980s. Trade policy should stay the same - a closed economic system within the communist block, with minimal exports and imports to countries outside the bloc.

    Any ideas?
    *In the following I'll use Russia and SSSR unvariably of their meaning at the time. sorry for the confusion.


    NEP would have exhausted the SSSR on the long term. The primarily agricultural nation that what Russia then, had three flaws.

    a. It's main exports are raw materials and agricultural products.
    b. Those are affected under typical Market consideration by the terms of trade. Badly. So while Russia could have exported its grain and ore for a good price initially, the terms of exchange would have worsened to imports, since Russia was in dire need of modernization.
    c. That modernization leads to a urban exodus, inevitably. One that is far less controllable with the NEP and hurts the basis of the NEP as follows. As the terms of exchange worsen for the raw material exporters in favour of high value goods (look at today) and substitution takes time, Russia would have slowly needed more people to both work at the fields and become workers. This is the typical paradox of transforming economies. It is often solved by a mix of population growth and gradual modernization of the agriculture and/or bigger import penetration to sustain the needs of the population.
    d. Then you have the balancing of the market. If the NEP works for the farmers, the industry will raise its prices to keep up the revenue, plus political pressure to perform. Why work in factory when you earn more by working on a farm?

    You have then to take in account the Soviet nature, it is a socialist country and has VERY little room to breathe internationally. This was evident at the Genoa Conference when the Allies asked the SSSR to pay the Imperial pre-war debt. In lieu, the Soviets went on to sign the Rapallo treaty that would ultimately be very beneficial the Germany and the SSSR, but that would show the limits of a raw material exporter scheme for modernization overtime.

    Now the SSSR wasn't a desert, it had brains and potential, but with the NEP the transition would have been longer and probably as (or even more chaotic).

    While criminal, the dekulakisation was a product of the NEP "shortcomings" and helped stifle dissent and reorganize a Russian traditional country that had not moved since the early 20th century.

    Furthermore the Georgian MOFO had this illumination about the 1929 crisis that contributed to the aura, big mustache would have among intellectuals. Bukharin fell of his chair during Black Thursday and Tuesday. Literally. So no, the NEP was a dead end, Stalin knew it, it wasn't a politically viable option for the Soviet leadership. And it would have aggravated the cost of modernization overtime. Dutch disease redux...

    On the Chinese reforms during the 70's, how can you have a Chinese styled reform while your potential big investor is your biggest challenger and declared enemy. Furthermore, how would you like to develop the said reforms if your EcoPol is about Close Circuitry? China made that quantum leap in late 70's because the Chinese geared towards a State controlled economy serving as an export base, earning hard cash.

    Russia never ever tried so by playing with oil prices. Even when it could in the early 70's. This was a mistake and a costly one. Soviets playing nice with the capitalist pigs during oil crisis in 73 would have eased some tensions and MAYBE allowed some Chinese style reforming and investment....
    In 1970s Russia and China were enemy, they both put millions of  troops along the border. When China start economy reform, USSR call it revisionism.  The nature of capitalism is to chase profit maximization. It has a possibilty other countries will invest Russia.
    Maybe Chinese style econmy reform don't fit Russia.  But I think  USSR should reform gradually like China.

    Again, this wasn't possible then. The "reforms" were basically a carrot that the West used towards the PRC with the belief that it would, as some point not only back the West against the USSR, but also drop the CCP and become "normal". This for a range of reasons failed and here we are.

    But back to the topic. As I said, the USSR couldn't have been the "alternative", because it was the MAIN enemy. The Chinese gamble, the DFI's, the loans, the gradual barrier lifting, the thaw that happened during the Carter administration up to the death of Deng Xiao Ping (albeit there was the Tien An Men stall politically) were all an experiment that is turning awry. It has to be a rare occasion, that the big dog in international policy empowers its successor this way.

    So the USSR could not have transformed like China, because unlike China it had attained the same bottleneck than the Western States it was opposing. It had created a middle class, which was stalling. The Soviet middle class, very large compared to the Western one, was actually far more privileged on statute than the western one.

    I'll leave this here to understand, that what the Soviet state did, was as crazy as absurdly wonderful. Through, blood, tears and hatred, it elevated TOO MANY people to a condition that couldn't be afforded in the same time with an Arms Race, a quasi imperialistic foreign policy and a very problematic supply and distribution chain.

    http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2002-08-30-turovskaya-en.html

    In other words, the Soviet Union had become an Utopia for the best and worst reasons. None of this in China, that was massively rural. So the only possible exit for a non-Perestroïka USSR would have been to flog the country with Kossigyn reforms on steroids, actually embrace the Prague spring and control it, instead of killing it. It was very easy to do so. Central Europe was going to hurt Western Europe anyway with lower cost and an equally qualified manpower. Trade barriers would have done the rest and those countries would have lagged behind all the same like now.

    The Prague spring was a lost opportunity and it effectively alienated the whole Central European countries from the USSR. For good.

    Having lived in a shithole of a system compared to the Soviet one, I thoroughly find myself at the description. It is something that is dying, difference. Daring to be different is dying in the world. And ironically it isn't Communism that is killing it.
    Walther von Oldenburg
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    Better USSR (alt. history) Empty What if Lenin lived longer?

    Post  Walther von Oldenburg Tue Nov 09, 2021 3:27 pm

    Lenin died at 53 in 1924 and got replaced by Stalin but what if he enjoyed perfect health and lived at least until 1950? Was he truly better than Stalin as the popular opinion says?
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    Post  kvs Tue Nov 09, 2021 4:00 pm

    Walther von Oldenburg wrote:Lenin died at 53 in 1924 and got replaced by Stalin but what if he enjoyed perfect health and lived at least until 1950? Was he truly better than Stalin as the popular opinion says?

    You are totally ignoring the Trotskyists. Lenin was a "chuchilo" who was not setting the ideology and the policy. Trotsky, the butcher of
    the Red Terror, ran the show. Stalin had to keep uprooting the Trotskyist swine all the way to WWII. And he did not succeed in getting
    rid of all of them, for example Khruschev. The Trotskyists were setting the tone after 1925 and were key to the establishment and
    the operation of the gulag archipelago. Yagoda, Kaganovich, etc. were all Trotsky faction commies. Khruschev was an eager beaver
    in sending people to the gulags.

    All of the excesses in the USSR after 1925 get dumped on Stalin even though they were set up and executed by the clowns in charge
    before 1925. Stalin did not have absolute control. The Party had control and we had a factional fight between the more sane assortment
    and the ideological zealots under the banner of Trotsky.

    The Bolsheviks were a regime change operation by the west. The invasion of Russia by western countries to "save the whites" was
    pure BS like the US pretending it was fighting ISIS in Syria. ISIS/Daesh just kept making big gains while supposedly under attack
    and when Russia actually started attacking them, they collapsed. The British were too busy running concentration camps for Russians
    on Russian soil. No way they were saving Russia, their traditional enemy.

    Stalin screwed up the plan by displacing the original worms who gained power in 1917. Stalin and his faction are why the USSR managed
    to succeed during WWII. If Trotsky was in charge, it would have lost the war.


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    Post  GarryB Wed Nov 10, 2021 4:32 am

    If Trotsky was in charge, it would have lost the war.


    Or worse, the resources of Russia might have become available to Hitler and without the Soviets tieing up three quarters of the german military there is little chance of the US and UK ever landing in 1944 or ever... if you shifted the german farmers to ukraine and reestablished german industry in Russian territory out of reach of western strategic bombing, and you added the oil and other material resources of Russia to the German war machine the UK and US would not have had a chance... the T-34 and Yak-1/3/9 and La-5FN would not have existed but the potential for a German Russian alliance would have been enormous.... and what the US fears even today... which is why they do everything they can to set Europe against Russia... because if Russia and Europe get together... who needs the US?

    A better question would be instead of the conflict being between communists and Tsarists... what if there was a third faction that didn't want all out communism but wanted social and economic reform that ended the dictatorship of the monarch but did not involve the dictatorship of communism as ended up being practised.

    Imagine a Putin like figure.... he has achieved more in the last 20 years with Russia than Stalin really did, and without the violence and large scale murder.

    Of course the west would have called it communism and the results might not be that much different because the west is anti Russian... wouldn't matter if they are monarchists, communists, or socialists... they are a big rival and therefore the enemy of the west... being a functioning rival.

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