Forced labor camps could be considered slave labor, definitely, but it's important to keep in mind that people weren't sent to do forced labor simply because the state required laborers. Further, GULag conditions were actually originally fairly good up until the Frenkel reforms: laborers were given a fair supply of rations, decent housing, a wage and were even able to complain about their conditions up the hierarchy. GULag was finally abolished under Khrushchev in 1960. So the system really only lasted about 1/3 of the life of the USSR, and certainly not in Molotok's time living there. It's pretty crazy to make a sweeping generalization about the entire USSR regarding the GULag system which lasted only about 1/3 of the time of its existence.Originally Posted by Jeezy
That would be like one condemning the US for a policy it held 100 years ago.
What do you mean? During the Stalin years? Pre-WW2 he proposed an anti-fascist bloc but was turned down by the British and others who decided to take the road of appeasement in the hope that Hitler would simply go East.Originally Posted by Gargantuan
"I do not claim that every incident in the history of empire can be explained in directly economic terms. Economic interests are filtered through a political process, policies are implemented by a complex state apparatus, and the whole system generates its own momentum."
Name one time in that year when items disappeared from the shelves because of "shortages" in the United States.
Last edited by Jeezy; 07-01-11 at 04:54 PM.
Originally Posted by Josie
What does the Holodomor have to do with it? It was a horrible event. So was the Trail of Tears. So was the internment of the Boere across the Transvaal. All great nations have black marks on their histories.
Anyway, I'll play your game. Name one time in the 1960's there was a bread shortage in the Soviet Union. You can't -- why? Because it didn't happen. You hear sensational stories twenty years after the Cold War ended of the 'horrors and trials of life everywhere America can't reach', of starving children and people being carted away in the night for saying "I'm hungry". Doesn't that sound a bit suspect to you? Hell, doesn't it sound downright ridiculous? How could the world's most powerful nation for near on 40 years have operated like that? It's bloody stupid. You might've heard about the 1989 bread shortages in Poland, after Lech Walesa's Solidarity movement started wrecking the infrastructure of the country. Or maybe you heard about the crime rate in Lithuania, which skyrocketed after the Lithuanian SSR declared independence, and the Soviet Union acquiesced and pulled its police etc. out of the country.
But this bull**** of life all across the largest nation on Earth being worse than basic prison life is utter nonsense, and it's rather offensive to hear it from someone who knows nothing of the place but what he's decided from sensational stories.
Finally, a question -- why does that disturb you? You were hoping somehow that we would fall under the American world order, or something? That Russians would give up and say, eh, wow, guess Americans ARE just superior human beings, let's be like them!
Don't be ridiculous.
...yeah. Or maybe the fact that I'm Russian, and that the vast majority of people I know there and here corroborate the disparity. But sure. Yeah. Whatever you want, comrade.
Last edited by Jeezy; 07-01-11 at 05:49 PM.
Originally Posted by Josie
:/ So you didn't live there, the Soviet Union, I mean, not really. But you are Russian, fair enough.
Anyway, you've instantly become much more interesting to me -- often when I meet Russian expats, or the children of Russian expats in the UK or the USA, they've the same nostalgia for Russia as I've described. Can I drain your brain a bit, then, and try to figure out what makes you different?