SOCIALIST ESTABLISHMENTS OF THE 20TH CENTURY:
Totality? - or a heroic attempt at humanity?
The fall of the socialist
countries at the end of the 20th century
The most important political event of the end of the 20th century was undoubtedly the fall of the socialist regimes in Central and Eastern European countries. At the time, and immediately thereafter, it was almost universally welcomed with enthusiasm. People wanted to eliminate shortcomings and failures in society and expected development for the better. However, the people and groups behind it had different intentions ...
The activists of the anti-socialist coups tried above all to ensure the irreversibility of the relevant changes and to suggest the need to liquidate everything that has been so far. In addition to some useful legal changes, explicitly unjust laws were pushed through (such as the disgraceful "restitution" law , privatization, ...) , which allowed a handful of brazen and characterless people to steal and destroy most of the values created by more than two generations. Fortunately, these changes took place peacefully in our country - the term " velvet revolution " (where, however, the word "revolution" is not entirely apt, rather it was a "against-revolution" ...) , but in some countries there were violence and crimes (eg murder of the president and his wife in Romania) . In an atmosphere of heated feelings and the cry of massive right-wing propaganda, the voices of more thoughtful people, drawing attention to some hidden aspects and risks of future developments, practically disappeared; these voices were often silenced. And indeed, the "velvet revolution" let everything positive be destroyed, stolen, sold out, privatized ...
Heroic attempt to
create a just society of real freedom and democracy
Despite all the mistakes and deformations (and despite purposeful slander and misrepresentations - see below) , the emergence of people's democratic and socialist institutions in the USSR and in many Central and Eastern European countries can be considered as a heroic attempt - the biggest yet and the most successful in history - the fulfillment of the age-old dream of decent and noble people: the overthrow of the old unjust order and create a new society without masters and servants - building a cohesive society of free people , where would people get along fairly , mutually did not rob, they did not exalt themselves and respected each other in equality and solidarity . Indeed, never before in history has such a significant part of humanity embarked on this longed-for journey, with such significant initial successes in all-round development, benefits for people's lives and attractiveness for the inhabitants of other countries.
A frequent objection and criticism of radical progressive change is the reference to the violence with which revolutions are often carried out. However, the rich and powerful usually do not give up their accumulated wealth and unjustified privileges voluntarily. They have money at their disposal for which they can buy the army and the police, as well as many religious leaders and, more recently, the media. Oppressed and humiliated people who want change for the better, therefore often there is nothing left but to embark on the path of revolution and use counter-force against the violence of the existing powers . It can be simply said that " totalitarianism to humanity ". Unfortunately, it is always associated with victims on both sides. If the revolution is defeated and suppressed, cruel repression and assassinations by the original rulers ensue. If a revolution wins, there are often power disputes between its activists ("the revolution eats its children") , as well as "settling the bills" for the injustice of the previous system. And unfortunately, he does not renounce the abuse of acquired power to liquidate "uncomfortable" people - uncomfortable for specific people in office.
Post-revolutionary situations are often abused by people with despotic in nature , who have the need to " buzz " their neighbors and order them not only what to do (even if they have to "go to the toilet in an organized way ... ...) , but also how to think and how to praise them. There were also primitives who did not see socialist reforms as objective changes in the social order, but only as exchanges of people and property: " Everyone pulls the saw for a moment. "; " What's yours is mine. And what's mine, you don't care!" (they also expressed it in a more vulgar way) . And they saw it as an opportunity for themselves: " Now I will be rich and I will command!" . Unfortunately, people of this type preferentially get into leadership positions.Socialism is a beautiful idea, but it should have been done by other people ..! ..
It may be naive and utopian to hope that appropriate enlightenment can help existing "celebrities" voluntarily give up at least part of their illicit profits, property and privileges and agree with others on a fairer organization of society, without hostility, violence and bloodshed..?.. Developed Western nations boasting of freedom and democracy (especially the United States) have so far supported militarily and economically in the troubled regions of the world mainly those forces that oppose real progress and democracy - dictatorial regimes, counter-revolutionary forces and right-wing movements, supporting the plundering of minerals, the exploitation of working people in difficult conditions, the government of money and the fraudulent indebtedness of poor countries ...
of progressive companies in the 1960s and 1970s
The idea of building a free society of equal solidarity citizens was generally attractive in the post-war period and was successfully implemented in several places outside Europe as well.
In August 1945, the Republic of Indonesia was founded, which (after a short struggle) gained independence from the Netherlands. Its founding president was K. Sukarno (who was the leader in the liberation of Indonesia from Dutch colonial rule). A relatively democratic social system (the so-called pancalila concept) was introduced with a view to non-capitalist development. In 1965, there was a political coup in which Sukarno was forcibly deposed and general Suharto took power.
At this time, one of the largest criminal massacres in history took place: the Indonesian military murdered about 500,000-1 million civilians in the name (or under the pretext) of anti-communism. Not only the communists were killed, but also all those who had left-wing tendencies or were uncomfortable with anyone, even seemingly. It happened partly under the direction of the USA ... The bloody defeat of progressive development in Indonesia may have become the first turning point for the strategy of the West's struggle against the socialist countries.
In the South American republic of Chile, Salvator Allende, a socialist candidate, won the 1970 election and became president. After his election, he began to pursue an extensive social policy. He nationalized the extraction of natural resources, banks, agricultural land of large estates for the benefit of peasants. He began reforming education and health care to make them accessible to all. He also tried to rid the country of economic dependence on the United States.
The US government imposed sanctions and a trade embargo on Chile, and the CIA organized subversive actions, sabotage, and riots to overthrow the president and the current political system. On September 11, 1973, a military coup under general A.Pinochet was launched under the direction of the CIA. The coup had shot S. Allende in his office, and dictator Pinochet took power at the head of the military junta. Several thousand Chileans were executed (more precisely murdered), about 27,000 people were imprisoned and tortured; the number of victims of this persecution is estimated at 40,000.
These two events of bloody violence and the suppression of democratic and progressive movements may have heralded the gaining dominance of the United States and the Western capitalist bloc over progressive efforts in the world and later over the socialist bloc in Europe ...
Causes of the Fall
Why did such a promising social system gradually stagnate until it finally collapsed? There are certainly a number of reasons, and there are diametrically opposed views and opinions. The right-wing propaganda spared invective and pejorative labels - phraseology as "communist dictatorship, lack of freedom, totalitarianism crimes'komunismu' *) ..." is stable "ammunition" purposefully led demagoguery and many believe - " 100 times repeated lie becomes true "...
*) The misused name" communism "is characteristic of right-wing phraseology. No communism was anywhere and never, it is just a kind of limit notion of building an ideally just society (see below " Utopia"). This deliberately erroneous name is misused to discredit a good idea based on a critique of mistakes and unsuccessful attempts to achieve it. It was not communism, but in fact only bureaucratic socialism ...
Unfortunately, it is a sad fact that social development in socialistic counties has been accompanied by a series of negative phenomena , abuses and distortions - to enumerate them here would be "carrying wood into the forest", other are eagerly doing it for us (and thare still generously adding and inventing). Because of the bad feedback and underestimation of the role of democracy in leaders were often given not only incompetent people , but often dishonest and selfish people - in fact, internally "right-wing" careerists. These people have their indelible share of guilt in stagnation, as well as in a series of blunders and injustices that leave their victims with psychological and moral trauma throughout their lives. Although there were many times fewer people affected in this way than was claimed after the coup (as always, when given the opportunity, mos shouted those, who were righly punished) , the moral damage was great - they contributed significantly to the discrediting of a good idea .
The bureaucratization not only of social life, but also of the productive and economic spheres, led to fatal inflexibility , impenetrability of initiative and innovation, disgust of people who were able and willing to do something for society or for their field. Executives and officials (party, economic, production) became "apparatchiks", alienated and rising above the people who appointed and worked for them. People with selfish morals triumphed; honest and self-sacrificing people often became the target of ridicule. In short, the exact opposite of what was to be the goal of socialist reforms. In the production sphere, this naturally led to stagnation , to the lagging behind of the technical level of products, to the loss of competitiveness on world markets.
The internal causes of failure are certainly very significant. But external causes are often forgotten. For an objective view, we must realize the overall situation and balance of power of the socialist countries. The starting position of these countries was incomparably worse than the position of the rich developed western countries. The capital-controlled governments of these rich countries did not see the new people's democracies as partners, who should show the advantages of the path in equal competition (from which these Western countries could also take over), but did everything to eliminate their economies and cultural influence. In this unequal balance of power , in the "cold war" that was imposed on us, we did not have a chance for a long time. And, of course, this also had a negative impact on the internal political climate - there was a tendency to suppress any disagreement and criticism for fear of destabilization controlled from the outside (sometimes it was justified, often it was unfortunately also an excuse enforced by incompetent officials) .
Very unfavorable conditions: from start to finish !
It is a well-known experience that every plant or animal needs certain conditions for its successful growth, at least reasonably good . Of course, this also applies to man and human society - its economy and culture. Under what conditions were the efforts for socialist progress of society developed ?
Immediately after the socialist revolution in Russia in 1917, a civil war broke out , which brought economic disruption to Russia (It was a great disgrace for the leading commanders of the Czechoslovak legions at the end of the First World War, that they forced our legionnaires to fight on the opposite side - alongside the White Guards ...) . Then the external aggression of Western countries. Throughout the full interwar period ran a complete economic and cultural blockade by the governments of Western countries. Then World War II, in which German Hitler fascism aggression killed many millions and destroyed much of the developing Soviet economy. Soon after the war, the western states declared a Cold War against the USSR and other countries that embarked on a path of non-capitalist development. Finally, in the late 1980s, Western secret forces manipulated "perestroika." to the internal disintegration of the USSR and other socialist states, leading to a bandit theft of everything that previous generations built. ...
So there were practically no conditions for the successful realization of the ideas of socialism. It is almost miraculous that even in these extremely unfavorable conditions, in short periods of calm, the USSR made a huge leap in industrial, scientific and cultural development. Can we imagine how development would go in a situation where no one would maliciously hinder socialist development ..?..
The question " Totalitarianism
- or a heroic attempt at humanity? " in the
title of this essay can therefore be answered with objective
reflection: both . Explaining that
"totalitarianism" was probably necessary in the
phase of promoting a new social establishment (against
misunderstanding and malicious hostility), with the ultimate goal
being humanity . However, due to specific
historical circumstances and distortions (as
well as certain features of human nature) ,
"totalitarianism" persisted longer than
necessary , which ultimately contributed to the failure
and defeat of the entire system.
The 1989 coup was undoubtedly a "lost revolution" for the enlightened people. "Soulless market system *), based on the privatization of the means of production and raw materials and domination indiuviduálního selfishness can not ensure permanent (or long) sustainable development, given the limited nature of our little globe. We will have to re- socialize the means of production and ownership of land and natural resources that we can scientifically objective , flexibly and effectively tackle global challenges of development, in the context of natural and organic possibilities of our Earth. About all participate, produce only things needed to live and develop a truly democratic and enlightened society.
*) The capitalist system of consumer society compels us to get things thatwe don't need them and which we throw away anyway, even though labor has been put into their production and raw materials have been consumed. Society cannot be based on the constant growth of consumption and production of unnecessary things - even nature cannot bear it !
What next ? - is there any hope of creating
a society of solidarity of free people ?
Is the defeat of the socialist movement the definitive end of the progressive development of society , as skeptics claim, and as right-wing propaganda seeks to suggest to everyone else? Let's believe not ! The great French Revolution (which also went through very contradictory and bloody phases) was also temporarily defeated , but its ideas spread unstoppably - slavery, robotism, and eventually the entire feudal estate were gradually abolished even in countries far from France. Similarly, the ideas of the socialist revolution made a significant contribution to the humanization of capitalism and the development of democracy in all western countries.
Failure to achieve a positive and noble goal does not mean for intelligent and thoughtful people its denial and rejection *), but only the knowledge that the path so far has been wrong or unworkable . It is necessary to carefully analyze all the causes, learn from the mistakes and look for new ways .
*) A small example from scientific cognition
As a physicist, I came up with a small example from my field in this context (I am aware, however, that every comparison "falters" ...) . Experimental demonstration of a new physical phenomenon is often difficult and initially unsuccessful, despite considerable effort and resources. Examples are experimental demonstration of neutrinos (see eg section " Neutrinos - ghosts between particles " in the treatise " Nuclear and radiation physics ") , or attempts to detect and prove the existence of gravitational waves (§2.7. " Gravitational waves " in the book " Gravity, black holes and space - time physics ") .
It would be a mistake to negate and reject the investigated physical phenomenon on the basis of initial failures , or including physicists who participated in the experiments. "A negative result is also a result ." It turns out they lead to success that will enrich the relevant scientific discipline and all human knowledge.
Sensitive physics experiments, bringing progress in physics, face a number of natural disturbances that need to be eliminated or corrected. Efforts to make progress in society are even worse - they encounter purposeful resistance from the rich and powerful circles of the existing society, as well as the selfish interests and ignorance of manipulated people. What would be the hope for the success of experiments, for example on accelerators at CERN, if a bomb exploded there at any moment (planted by a competing team), or if some workers stole or damaged complex equipment technology? And how "democratically" would the leadership, responsible for the success of the experiments, proceed towards these individuals ..?..
U t o p i a ?
There is often an objection that the whole idea of socialism or communism is a mere utopia *). However, utopia is also of great importance for the development and progress of society - not as something that should be consistently and immediately implemented ("hysterically" and dogmatically, regardless of everything), but rather as a kind of "beacon" showing direction or limit goal , to which we would try to gradually approach. Positive utopia is a collection of ideas and concepts that should inspire us ...
*) The word " utopia " (from the Greek u-topos = unknown place, "nowhere")), denoting the idealized and so far nowhere realized idea of perfect human society, comes from the book of the same name by the English humanist thinker Thomas Mor from 1516. This work (partly following Plato's writings "Laws" and "Constitution") expresses very well and summarizes all the ancient desires and ideals of the people for justice, nobility and harmonious interpersonal relationships. However, if we disregard some of the contemporary feudal and religious prejudices, as well as partly naive views, not counting the complexity of human nature :
Monstrosity and "boarding" of our brains ..?..
Some people make perverse pleasure to "elite" exalt the of others - often better than themselves, their neighbors to rob and insult, humiliate and slander, rejoice over damage of it (sometimes even more than for own benefit!); admire the more powerful villains and despise the humble noble people who are willing to help them. Somewhere, the "Lord God" - or the intricate paths of evolution - made a mistake in the human psyche ...! And unfortunaely, the people of this egioist "blood group" prefentiallly take the lead - even those social establishment, that seek the exact opposite, attempt to "correct public affairs"; and "successfully" discredit them and undermine. If we add to this the open hostility, violence and intrigue of the rich and powerful, as well as the ignorance and misunderstanding of the wider classes (in whose favor reforms are actually being made - but who can often be intimidated or manipulated by the other party, which they paradoxically support), not surprisingly, the difficulty of building a just humane society, that has never lasted long before ..!..
Cf. also with the observation "The Rigidity of Our Brains " in the essay " Science and Religion ".
It is certainly a historical tragedy that instead of maintaining progressive goals and eliminating ills, after the coup d'état in 1989, development partly took the path of rejecting the humanistic goal , preserving most ills and multiplying them. From this point of view, society has taken a significant step back in our country and in other "post-socialist" countries . This greatly devalued the work of the thousands of self-sacrificing people who put all their mental and physical strength into creating a better society, as well as undermining the memory of many people who (on both sides) laid down their lives in promoting progressive ideas.
What revival mechanisms could lead torenewal of progressive tendencies in the development of society? "Will there be new warriors" who will again "raise the banner of revolution", as some communists hope? I am personally skeptical of this . The social situation has changed significantly over the last 50 years: the "working class" in the true sense of the word is in the minority, intellectuals and people working mentally no longer realize that they are also " proletarians " as well as manual workers. In addition, the mass media (television, press, radio), which are controlled by rich and powerful circles and clearly proclaim right-wing propaganda , have gained a decisive influence on public opinion in a soulless consumer society. "Elites", "celebrities", "stars" and other "capable" people, whose greater "abilities" actually lie only in an increased degree of selfishness , audacity and arrogance.
On the other hand, perhaps there are at least two promising circumstances :
1. We do not live in a "vacuum" - society in developed western countries also made significant progress "to the left" during the 20th century - towards real democracy, equality in law , breaking social inequalities *). The rich and powerful can no longer "openly sweep" with ordinary people as they used to do. It is no longer the soulless predatory and consumer system, as criticized not only by the workers, but especially by the intellectuals living in it. Many civic associations and non-profit organizations work successfully.
*) Although it is necessary to realistically realize that this was at a time largely under pressure from the successful development of socialist ideas in the eastern countries. After the victory of capital in the Cold War, there is a real threat of the gradual dismantling of democratic conveniences in Western countries as well!
2. Scientific and technological progress and information technology shall gradually bring about equality of access to information and to education, which was one of the important goals of the socialist and communist movement. Educated and informed people may gradually promote a fairer organization of society ..?..
It seems (or can be hoped) that future development will not follow the path of violent revolutions and counter-revolutions, but a gradual and tortuous evolution that will lead to gradual convergence of positive features of both systems (and the elimination of the negative ones) - to social progress .
|The story of the socialist-oriented countries in the years (1918) - 1945-1989, despite the defeat, shows that :|
|To create a
functioning, just society of solidarity of free people,
in which the vast majority of people would live a happy
and fulfilling family and work life, it is realistically
Although with a number of limitations, shortcomings, human error and torpedoing from inside and outside.
can be happy and beautiful without having to lose the ability to
live on Earth. I don't want and can't believe that evil is the
normal state of humanity."
"There is no greater happiness than believing in the goodness of people and their mutual love."
|Anthropic principle or cosmic God||Science and religion|
|AstroNuclPhysics ® Nuclear Physics - Astrophysics - Cosmology - Philosophy|
RNDr. Vojtech Ullmann