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How Hannah Arendt Got it Wrong: The Origins of Totalitarianism

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posted on Nov, 12 2012 @ 05:50 AM
"The Origins of Totalitarianism", Johanna 'Hannah' Arendt, was published in 1951 and was, intentionally or not, a huge part in the demonisation of communism/socialism post WWII.

She was right that Nazi Germany, and Stalin's Russia, even though vastly different, were "totalitarian" systems. What she failed to understand was that Stalin's Russia was not communist, intentionally or not. She demonised communism based on a dictatorship with a state-capitalist economy.

The Bolshevik revolution was not a communist revolution. The Bolsheviks never intended to implement communism. They simply used a bastardised version of Marxism in order to win the support of the workers, in order to ultimately take state power for their own gain. The working class was much more powerful and militant prior to WWII, not passive like our modern society today. Europe was going through a violent time, and the state used extremely violent measures to maintain their power.

The real left-wing rose up against the Bolsheviks...

Left-wing uprisings against the Bolsheviks were a series of rebellions and uprisings against the Bolsheviks led or supported by left wing groups including Socialist Revolutionaries, Left Socialist Revolutionaries, Mensheviks, and anarchists. Some were in support of the White Movement while some tried to be an independent force. The uprisings started in 1918 and continued through the Russian Civil War and after until 1922. In response the Bolsheviks increasingly abandoned attempts to get these groups to join the government and suppressed them with force....

Left-wing uprisings against the Bolsheviks

The Nazi regime did a similar thing, masquerading as a party for the workers by appropriating left-wing terms.

....It is in this capacity that Hitler is sent to spy on a newly formed political group in Munich, the German Workers Party. In the hothouse atmosphere of 1919 Munich, the military authorities assumed that a group calling themselves the “German Workers Party” would be another communist grouping. After attending some meetings, Hitler is pleased to report back to his superiors that the German Workers Party is not a communist organization; rather, it is an ultra-patriotic nationalist group. The group’s name is explained in that it intended to win German workers away from socialism and steer them into right-wing politics.

Fascism: Origins and Ideology

Hitler came to power in a depression with support of the capitalists, who feared a workers communist uprising.
The Conservative Catholic Party pressured Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as Chancellor. Again the state will use any extreme measures if it feels seriously threatened, which at the time it did. Hitler was put into power to decimate the solidarity of the workers. The capitalists new his military plans, and war was the extreme measure used to destroy worker solidarity. Starting in Spain in 1936 as Hitler, and Mussolini, supported Franco in his fascist military takeover. The Spanish Civil war that also ironically gave the Anarchists the chance to take control, which they did for two years. WWII decimated worker solidarity and power the world over. A new form of liberal fascism was implemented, and the path to capitalist world economic domination was opened like never before (NWO).

It was to the benefit of the capitalist class to continue with the lies about what the USSR etc., were really about, to the point they have become "truth".

In George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the Ministry of Truth is Oceania's propaganda ministry. It is responsible for any necessary falsification of historical events. The word truth in the title Ministry of Truth should warn, by definition, that the "minister" will self-serve its own "truth"; the title implies the willful fooling of posterity using "historical" archives to show "in fact" what "really" happened. As well as administering truth, the administration deploys a new tongue-in-cheek language amongst administrators called Newspeak, in which, for example, truth is understood to mean statements like 2 + 2 = 5 when the situation warrants.

Ministry of Truth

Socialism is not the enemy, the enemy is in every facet of your life.

So-called "socialism" in Stalin's Russia--and other countries, like China and Cuba, that modeled their systems on the USSR--is diametrically opposed to the basic principles we stand for. The rulers of the former USSR under Stalin used the rhetoric of socialism and Marxism to justify a different reality--an exploitative system, run by a minority, using forms of authority not that very different to capitalism in the West.

How Russia went from a workers' state to state capitalism

posted on Nov, 12 2012 @ 06:10 AM
reply to post by ANOK

Thanks for this informative thread.
Definitely one of the better ones I have seen lately.

Many things receive incorrect labels, whether through ignorance or intentionally to serve an ulterior purpose.
I'm no expert on the subject, but it seems to me that every type of government fails in the end. Capitalism, Fascism, communism, democracy, marxism. The all end up devolving into tyranny, oppression and/or economic collapse.
In the end it didn't work out well for the Russians. They collapsed under the weight of their war machine. Hitler's Germany, was crushed and then weighted down with sanctions for years before they recovered. China is still around and seem to be doing better than most western nations.

I think human nature will always lead to corruption and tyranny, regardless of what system of government was initially used.

posted on Nov, 12 2012 @ 06:29 AM

Originally posted by watchitburn
reply to post by ANOK

Thanks for this informative thread.
Definitely one of the better ones I have seen lately.

Thanx, blush lol.

Many things receive incorrect labels, whether through ignorance or intentionally to serve an ulterior purpose. I'm no expert on the subject, but it seems to me that every type of government fails in the end....

You're right, all state systems are temporary, they all fail eventually. We don't need to have a state system, and the only way we can have a society without a state system is with worker ownership. Originally the Anarchists were socialists who apposed the idea of the state in Marxist socialism. They believed, as you said, that ALL state systems, even the temporary Marxist state, become corrupt, and the only way to socialism is through direct action.

But our modern society is not prepared for direct action and immediate change. But we also don't need to use the Marxist approach. The move to worker ownership is already happening, see my thread here...

The more people learn the facts about worker ownership the faster it will spread. Once worker ownership is the majority they, we, will have more power and more control over the state. The state is controlled by capitalist interests. Worker ownership can change that.

edit on 11/12/2012 by ANOK because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 11:40 AM
Very well put together post! I liked reading it a lot. Yet, it seems clear to me that the state socialist(state capitalism) with a all powerful chairman of the board is the direct result of left-wing ideas gone too far. I would say it was the men running the system at the time which caused things to get a little crazy. To this day there are still a few nations using the Stalin USSR model and are able to survive on their own for the most part. Also in northern Europe they are pulling off a heavily state owned economy with high taxes and high social services. Norway is a good example of this.

posted on Mar, 20 2013 @ 03:28 PM

Originally posted by freedomwv
Very well put together post! I liked reading it a lot.

Thanks mate.

I disagree that USSR was a result of the left-wing. Once again the Bolsheviks were never left-wing, they lied about their real agenda in order to gain support. That is what politics is about in every country, they will tell you what you want to hear in order to gain or maintain their positions of power, or simply to maintain their political careers.

You have to understand the history of Europe post WWII to understand why the Nazi's, and the Bolsheviks, used left-wing terms. The working class WAS the left-wing, the establishment was the right-wing. Due to the advent of mass media post WWII those distinctions have been blurred and don't have the same meanings as they did.

The problems of understanding is trying to argue events post-WWII using modern misunderstandings of terms. Understand how those terms were used pre-WWII, and the events of those times take on a whole different perspective.

Post WWII the working class was organised in solidarity, and very much apposed to capitalism. This was evidenced especially by the Spanish revolution/civil war, where people from all over the world were going to Spain to help the anarchists and socialists fight the fascists, including George Orwell who wrote about it, "Homage to Catalina". Modern history doesn't even teach about the revolution, just the civil war.

The Spanish Revolution (1936)

Even nurses and doctors from the USA were going there to help the revolution. The establishment saw this as a threat, and we got WWII. WWII decimated the working class, and post WWII worker solidarity was lost. The state propaganda machine went into overdrive, and the desire for class climbing was instilled in the population. Worker solidarity was gone, and replaced with keeping up with the Joneses, and consumerism. The threat to capitalism almost eradicated.

So some nations fooled their populations into supporting them by claiming to be for the workers. When in reality they simply wanted state power for their own agenda, proven by history. Socialism didn't become a state system just because a state system decided to call themselves socialist/communist.

It's no different to western governments, who have fooled their populations into supporting capitalism, against their own best interests. Not by calling themselves communist, but by demonizing worker ownership by claiming that was what the USSR actually was. It's almost as if both the west and east were in collusion over this, and it wouldn't surprise me if they were.

edit on 3/20/2013 by ANOK because: (no reason given)

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