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Anti-communism masked as alleged "anti-totalitarianism"
The term "totalitarianism" was a Cold War creation to compare Communism to Nazism, which is pure and simple bashing. Orwell's 1984 is a perfect example of this kind of propaganda. The book, praised beyond any objective quality, merely repeats stereotypes that would later make the fortune of Robert Conquest and similar alleged "historians". The worst part is, the author presents his view as the true Socialist one. But this is just Trotskyism and revisionism.

It's rather easy to see what lies behind the curtain: "doublethink" is a sick, twisted parody of dialectical materialism, the description of the Party doesn't show any kind of actual analysis and is just a pile of gratuitously anvilicious Complete Monster traits, Goldstein's section is nothing but an extremely heavy Author Filibuster moment to expose loads and loads of Trotskyist / Social Democratic propaganda.

As a Marxist-Leninist, I find this book utterly revolting and despicable. However, I must admit that it completely succeeds in its main target: to spread every possible lie about the Eastern Bloc and the men who carried on the results of the October Revolution, under the pretense of an "universal message of freedom" that is just imperialistic trash. It succeeds so well that most people believe this is a valid document to judge Soviet Union. What's next, Jurassic Park used as biology documentation in universities?
Well, you have an uncommon and interesting perspective, I'll give you that.

comment #15391 maninahat 15th Jul 12
What? It's completely valid. Yeah it compares Commie's to Nazi's and frankly at that time,..uh yeah they kinda were being that they were under Stalin.

It's anti-Stalinist,and rightfully so,considering how despicable his actions were.

I see nothing about Marxist-Leninism (which is an embarrassment to Marxism anyway,which originally was more like Bakunin) in it at all,it is just a very general message against any autocracy. Whether it be admitted ones like Nazism or ones like Stalinism which pretends to use that name

Take it from a Minarchist (which Orwell and Marx themselves would be),it's perfectly valid.
comment #15392 terlwyth 15th Jul 12
I see nothing about Marxist-Leninism (which is an embarrassment to Marxism anyway,which originally was more like Bakunin)

I'm afraid, but I completely disagree. Marx himself wrote about the necessity of proletarian dictatorship, which Bakunin never agreed about. Lenin described imperialism using Marxist categories and thus added substantially to Marx and Engels' work. Marxism recognizes th necessity of authority in the socialist phase (which preceeds Communism) and, dialectically, sees the difference between bourgeois authority and proletarian authority.

Also, "Stalinism" is an improper term, sine Stalin didn't actually made a substantial progress from Lenin's work. Instead, he fortified the results of the Revolution through the proletarian dictatorship (always being faithful to Marx, Engels and Lenin's teaching) and, more important, he lead (not alone, of course) USSR against Nazi Germany. Putting USSR and Third Reich on the same level isn't just historically absurd, it's offensive.

Take it from a Marxist-Leninist, I don't recall Minarchists turning a confederation of feudal states into the second most powerful State of its time.

@maninahat: Thanks. Feel free to analyze more.
comment #15393 Belfagor 15th Jul 12
@Belfagor: It's offensive to compare one regime that killed millions of people for petty reasons with another regime that killed millions of people for petty reasons? Just because they went to war with each other? I... don't follow.
comment #15394 doctrainAUM 15th Jul 12
Considering who was in charge of the USSR when the book was written, it's not bashing at all. It's, in fact, quite accurate.

Stalin's reign was a nightmare no better than Nazi Germany. Hrushchev denounced Stalin and did away with his cult of personality and some of the regime's worst totalitarian tendencies but the propaganda driven police state remained. Only after Gorbatchev loosened the iron grip-like policies did the people actually have a chance to say what they thought of the whole USSR thing and, considering that freedom movements started popping up everywhere and all the republics seceded from the "union", they didn't like it very much.

The USSR failed. Get over it.

comment #15400 McSomeguy 16th Jul 12
^^ & ^ Dear lord, stop reading rubbish written using propaganda from the '30s and try to do an objective research. You could even find Oxford professors praising collectivization. I've had to sit through hours and hours of the exact things you repeat. Then I read another version that was far more supported (ever read Ludo Martens, for example?) and objective. Why don't you do the same? You know, that's what an accurate research is.

By the way, taking critics from who probably supports the US is frankly ludicrous.
comment #15402 Belfagor 16th Jul 12
So, essentially, you base your entire view on that one book(Another View of Stalin) that tries to vindicate Stalin, instead of the hundreds of books that have been written over the past sixty years and the extensive archival evidence that has since been declassified, containing NKVD documents with Stalin's own signature on them regarding The Great Purge, or even witness testimony(some people who suffered under his regime are still alive, you know). That's what you call research?

By the way, Martens published that book in 1994, which is before most of the important documents became available to scholars, so his view is not up to date by any stretch of the imagination.
comment #15403 McSomeguy 16th Jul 12
You do know that Stalin killed 10-20 million people on a whim right? Thats 1 in 14 people in Russia and it's well documented, to believe otherwise would equivalent to Holocaust Denying.

We can try to compare totalitarian regimes and work out which had the best quality of life and least restrictions, but the one where I didn't have a 7% of being killed just for being alive is probably going to be considered more benevolent by me. At least I'd have a reason for being killed under Hitler
comment #15419 Tomwithnonumbers 17th Jul 12
"it at all,it is just a very general message against any autocracy." - terlwyth

Excellent point. I've posted that statement again so it doesn't get lost in the sea of other comments about the book. Whatever your political beliefs may be, I think it's important to note that this was more or less Orwell's central message. Recall that we're never specifically told of the origins of Big Brother, and that omitted detail is what makes the story so bone-chilling. It could have started with eco-feminists, anarcho-syndicalists, ultra-nationalists, communists, or religious fundamentalists.

When left in the hands of common human vices such as greed and selfishness, any of these ideologies can lead to widespread oppression. History has shown us that oppressive regimes can sprout from any ideology or political party, and this is mainly due to fundamental flaws in human nature. There is no airtight, perfectly-developed ideology, and looking at ideologies as absolutely good or evil while divorcing those ideologies from the people who promote them is absurd to me. I'm not Orwell, so I'm not going to decide for him, but I walked away from the book with that message.
comment #15426 Aprilla 18th Jul 12
^ Did't you mean totalitarianism than you said autocracy? Big Brother is the face of Oceania's leadership, but it is not clear if he is a real person and still alive or not.
comment #15427 GrandPrincePaulII 18th Jul 12
At the risk of starting something I don't want to finish, I'll just say this and leave: I'm not surprised that a Marxist would have a strong negative reaction to this book at all.
comment #15437 Shrikesnest 18th Jul 12
Yes, the risk is very high because it doesn't have any point or purpose, it's not even a discussion, it's just an Ad Hominem.
comment #15445 marcellX 19th Jul 12
It's only an attack if you think what I said is negative.
comment #15449 Shrikesnest 19th Jul 12
What are we suppose to think when you yourself give the warning "At the risk of starting something I don't want to finish"? You're saying, oh it's not a surprise the arguer would have this opinion since they're a "blank", you'e not adding, agreeing, disagreeing, challenging, refuting, or even discussing the topic, you're just making a comment on the person who has the opinion, not the opinion itself, a clear example of Ad Hominem.
comment #15453 marcellX 19th Jul 12
You know, the review itself has a lot to say about the author's personal feelings on the matter. If the review itself repeatedly states "As a Marxist-Lenninist I..." then I refuse to be guilted for answering that in the comments section. If all Balfagor wanted was to have an objective conversation about this book then he had the opportunity to do so, but he wrote it very personally, and as such I'm discussing it personally. I didn't call him a murderer or evil. I just said that it's not surprising that a Marxist doesn't like a book that impugns communism. If an Objectivist left a review for, say, The Grapes Of Wrath that said "As an Objectivist, I feel sick about the horrible lies about the so-called less fortunate that this book spreads," I don't think it would be unfair for commenters to say, "Well, yeah, this book is about as anti-Objectivist as you can get."
comment #15454 Shrikesnest 20th Jul 12
but he wrote it very personally, and as such I'm discussing it personally.

Yeah no, as I explained, that's not discussing, you didn't add, agree, disagree, challenge, refuted, etc. etc. the topic, you just made a comment on the OP that didn't do nothing to the topic. I myself don't agree with the OP, doesn't mean that I'm gonna think of any pointless comment on him/her as valid. If they said that they're a Marxist, what did you accomplish by pointing it out? That's doesn't discredit it from being an Ad Hominem and an Association Fallacy, people with similar views don't think exactly the same, other Marxists can disagree and or have a more complex, informative and or less emotional opinion on this book, you're basically pairing them all together.
comment #15456 marcellX 20th Jul 12
In order to post comments, you need to Get Known
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