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The USSR was one of the worst countries in the world.
in History

The Soviet Union was responsible for oppressing millions of people, and responsible in helping communist governments grow, they were nothing but communist fools. The Soviet Union was one of the worst countries to have ever existed.
Zombieguy1987
  1. Live Poll

    Was the USSR one of the worst countries in the world?

    10 votes
    1. Yes
      90.00%
    2. Not really
      10.00%
“Communism is evil. Its driving forces are the deadly sins of envy and hatred.” ~Peter Drucker 

"It's not a gun control problem, it's a cultural control problem."
Bob Barr



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  • It really depends on what criteria of "goodness" are used. From different perspectives, the USSR was one of the worst (if not the worst period), average and one of the best countries in the world. Here is why.



    WORST: In terms of the long-term negative impact on the world, I would say that the USSR simply has no contestants in the recorded history. Not only did it bring one of the most poisonous ideologies (socialism) into the mainstream political space, but it also revived totalitarianism which, many thought, was finished with the coming of Renaissance. USSR is easily, directly or indirectly, responsible for the vast majority of unneeded deaths and cases of extreme poverty in the last century.

    Socialism has been tried in probably half of the Earth's territory by now, leading to suffering and misery for billions people over the last century. USSR popularized this populist ideology, making it one of the favorite choices of dictators all around the world in order to buy popular support and consequently subdue the population with the power it granted the regime. Even Hitler mainly won German support by playing the "We must oppose communists at all cost" card, without which nobody would listen to this little bitter guy.

    Totalitarianism majorly died with Renaissance, after which the general idea of a dictatorship was "The king does whatever he wants and kills everyone who disagrees". Soviet Union revived the old totalitarian system, where multiple institutes directly controlled by the central power employ systematic ideological coercion of the population in the area - something that has not seen much use in the world since old Christian theocracies, with churches doing what Party commissaries were doing now.
    This, again, inspired dictators all over the world to do the same, proving the notion that "Ideological propaganda cannot work in the modern enlightened state of humanity" wrong.

    Not only that, but Soviet Union conquered half Europe and installed puppet regimes all over the world, some of which are still around (North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, China), which led to entire continents set on fire (Africa is just the most popular example, but a significant part of Latin American, Middle-Eastern and East-Asian suffering was also caused by this effect). Even some developed democracies had to resort to semi-authoritarian measures (McCarthyism in the US, anti-communism cleansings in Australia, radio-propaganda in Europe, etc.) in order to contain the threat.

    Soviet Union also boasts one of the top records in exterminating and starving to death its own population. While Mao's China, Pol Pot's Kampuchea and Rwanda during the Genocide period beat the USSR at the absolute number, relative number or absolute/relative rate of murders, and Mao's China and Kims' North Korea surpass it in starvation victim rows - the USSR seems to be the only one to combine both in such demonic proportions. And, again, let us not forget that it was historically the first too. It was the one that started it all.

    So, what states in human history compare to the USSR in this regard? Italian fascism, Alexander's empire, the Rashidun Caliphate, Ottoman's empire, Mongol empire, Aztec empire, Russian empire, Chinese empire were all extremely expansionist and ideologically monstrous, but the first two existed for a very short time and did not leave a very lasting impact, and the others had mostly regional influence and definitely did not spawn influence bastions across the whole planet. Some would say that the British Empire was horrible in how it treated the native colony populations, but that Empire also brought civilization and modern technology to so many places that, at best, you can objectively say that it had mixed effect on the world.
    I think USSR pretty clearly is absolutely the worst state in human history in terms of lasting negative impact on the world population.



    AVERAGE: I will mention quality of life here, with some clarification. During Lenin and Stalin periods, the country was a mess, with mass starvation or physical extermination of people - and the general living conditions were worse even than those serfs experienced in pre-Napoleonic times, which is really an achievement. However, in Khrushchev and, especially, Brezhnev and onward periods the USSR was actually somewhere in the middle, maybe slightly below the middle.

    It was not, however, because of any special achievements on the USSR part. It was just that the world as a whole was burning at the time, with revolutions or natural economical collapses happening all over the world. There was the whole Africa, the whole China, the whole India, half of Middle East, half of Eastern Asia which were in such a poor state that the USSR seemed a small upgrade next to them.

    To get an idea of what quality of life in USSR was, say, in 70-s, look at North Korea and assume that people have several times more food, several times more technology, several times less brainwashing, several times more freedoms - and you will come pretty close to the average Soviet neighborhood.
    Miserable, sure, but the world was not exactly a great place as a whole at the time.



    BEST: This is something many will disagree with, and I am not sure I buy my own narrative here, but... I think the USSR "was so bad, it was actually good".

    You see, before World War II the world, while having relatively civilized states (the US, the UK, France, Canada, Switzerland...), was very... chaotic. There was a lot of nationalist sentiments everywhere, and while some globalization ideas were slowly gaining a footing, mostly states were extremely opportunistic, ready to take advantage of each other for any minuscule gain. This is something Stalin, Hitler and Hirohito used to their advantage, taking the popular sentiments to the extreme and going over the world, setting earthquakes everywhere.

    At the end of World War II, the planet was exhausted. People wanted to just rest and not have to deal with a burning world. They were tired of killing each other for a decade so soon after the previous World War, so they started looking into building positive relations, to try to rebuild together.

    Soviet Union took advantage of this tiredness and apathy, doing a quick blitzkrieg over Europe, taking land faster than the yesterday's allies could realize what happened. The allies managed to stop the madness by taking a strong diplomatic and military stand by the Berlin wall. But it was too late, and a lot of nations were already doomed.

    At this point, the leading nations realized that they are now facing an existential threat. Soviet Union was something much more powerful, much more sinister than the enemy they fought together yesterday, sacrificing everything in order to bring it down. In order to survive the challenge, they had to make some things clear: old nationalist model no longer worked. They could only survive this by uniting around certain civilized principles and fighting the evil back.

    This is when the notions on individual freedom, on human rights, on free and wide international trade and movement became dominant on the First World's political landscape. Nobody knows if those sentiments ever gained such a traction, were the young democracies not facing an existential crisis in the shape of a monstrous totalitarian empire - in a way, the USSR forced them to take a next step in the evolution of civilization, because that was the only step that did not lead to falling down a canyon.



    We can see nowadays what happens when such an existential threat does not exist. Now that Soviet Union is a thing of the past and Russia barely has anything to bite with, and that China is mostly self-contained and does not challenge the world order - old good authoritarian ideologies are on the rise. Instead of remembering what is important and why, nations are trying to get some minor chunks off each other by following selfish policies, by giving a lot of power to centralized governments in order to get these chunks faster and easier. Nationalism and socialism as ideologies are back in talks, even when it seemed we were done with that part of our history.

    Maybe it would be good for the world to see a new existential threat. Maybe China will wake up from slumber and start its own crusade. Maybe Russia will return to its glory days. Maybe ISIS or some other similar group takes over half the Middle East. What is clear to me is that without an axis of evil, democracies have lost direction, they are now too focused on short-term gains to recognize the importance of general principles. So, unless some sort of a new existential crisis happens soon, everything that has been built over the past 70 years may be lost to the pages of history.

    Sometimes evil is needed to strengthen the good. And this is something that the USSR did perfectly.
    Agility_DudeNathaniel_BcheesycheeseGeorge_HorseZombieguy1987midopreal
  • @MayCaesar
    for the millionth time look up socialism
    George_HorseZombieguy1987
  • EvidenceEvidence 812 Pts
    edited December 2018
    The Soviet Union was responsible for oppressing millions of people, and responsible in helping communist governments grow, they were nothing but communist fools. The Soviet Union was one of the worst countries to have ever existed.
    Yeah, .. but they are sure innovative now. We Love Russia:
    Check it out, enjoy:



    The country has some gas shortage, but otherwise runs on alcohol. And no shortage with that!
  • MayCaesar said:
    It really depends on what criteria of "goodness" are used. From different perspectives, the USSR was one of the worst (if not the worst period), average and one of the best countries in the world. Here is why.



    WORST: In terms of the long-term negative impact on the world, I would say that the USSR simply has no contestants in the recorded history. Not only did it bring one of the most poisonous ideologies (socialism) into the mainstream political space, but it also revived totalitarianism which, many thought, was finished with the coming of Renaissance. USSR is easily, directly or indirectly, responsible for the vast majority of unneeded deaths and cases of extreme poverty in the last century.

    Socialism has been tried in probably half of the Earth's territory by now, leading to suffering and misery for billions people over the last century. USSR popularized this populist ideology, making it one of the favorite choices of dictators all around the world in order to buy popular support and consequently subdue the population with the power it granted the regime. Even Hitler mainly won German support by playing the "We must oppose communists at all cost" card, without which nobody would listen to this little bitter guy.

    Totalitarianism majorly died with Renaissance, after which the general idea of a dictatorship was "The king does whatever he wants and kills everyone who disagrees". Soviet Union revived the old totalitarian system, where multiple institutes directly controlled by the central power employ systematic ideological coercion of the population in the area - something that has not seen much use in the world since old Christian theocracies, with churches doing what Party commissaries were doing now.
    This, again, inspired dictators all over the world to do the same, proving the notion that "Ideological propaganda cannot work in the modern enlightened state of humanity" wrong.

    Not only that, but Soviet Union conquered half Europe and installed puppet regimes all over the world, some of which are still around (North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, China), which led to entire continents set on fire (Africa is just the most popular example, but a significant part of Latin American, Middle-Eastern and East-Asian suffering was also caused by this effect). Even some developed democracies had to resort to semi-authoritarian measures (McCarthyism in the US, anti-communism cleansings in Australia, radio-propaganda in Europe, etc.) in order to contain the threat.

    Soviet Union also boasts one of the top records in exterminating and starving to death its own population. While Mao's China, Pol Pot's Kampuchea and Rwanda during the Genocide period beat the USSR at the absolute number, relative number or absolute/relative rate of murders, and Mao's China and Kims' North Korea surpass it in starvation victim rows - the USSR seems to be the only one to combine both in such demonic proportions. And, again, let us not forget that it was historically the first too. It was the one that started it all.

    So, what states in human history compare to the USSR in this regard? Italian fascism, Alexander's empire, the Rashidun Caliphate, Ottoman's empire, Mongol empire, Aztec empire, Russian empire, Chinese empire were all extremely expansionist and ideologically monstrous, but the first two existed for a very short time and did not leave a very lasting impact, and the others had mostly regional influence and definitely did not spawn influence bastions across the whole planet. Some would say that the British Empire was horrible in how it treated the native colony populations, but that Empire also brought civilization and modern technology to so many places that, at best, you can objectively say that it had mixed effect on the world.
    I think USSR pretty clearly is absolutely the worst state in human history in terms of lasting negative impact on the world population.



    AVERAGE: I will mention quality of life here, with some clarification. During Lenin and Stalin periods, the country was a mess, with mass starvation or physical extermination of people - and the general living conditions were worse even than those serfs experienced in pre-Napoleonic times, which is really an achievement. However, in Khrushchev and, especially, Brezhnev and onward periods the USSR was actually somewhere in the middle, maybe slightly below the middle.

    It was not, however, because of any special achievements on the USSR part. It was just that the world as a whole was burning at the time, with revolutions or natural economical collapses happening all over the world. There was the whole Africa, the whole China, the whole India, half of Middle East, half of Eastern Asia which were in such a poor state that the USSR seemed a small upgrade next to them.

    To get an idea of what quality of life in USSR was, say, in 70-s, look at North Korea and assume that people have several times more food, several times more technology, several times less brainwashing, several times more freedoms - and you will come pretty close to the average Soviet neighborhood.
    Miserable, sure, but the world was not exactly a great place as a whole at the time.



    BEST: This is something many will disagree with, and I am not sure I buy my own narrative here, but... I think the USSR "was so bad, it was actually good".

    You see, before World War II the world, while having relatively civilized states (the US, the UK, France, Canada, Switzerland...), was very... chaotic. There was a lot of nationalist sentiments everywhere, and while some globalization ideas were slowly gaining a footing, mostly states were extremely opportunistic, ready to take advantage of each other for any minuscule gain. This is something Stalin, Hitler and Hirohito used to their advantage, taking the popular sentiments to the extreme and going over the world, setting earthquakes everywhere.

    At the end of World War II, the planet was exhausted. People wanted to just rest and not have to deal with a burning world. They were tired of killing each other for a decade so soon after the previous World War, so they started looking into building positive relations, to try to rebuild together.

    Soviet Union took advantage of this tiredness and apathy, doing a quick blitzkrieg over Europe, taking land faster than the yesterday's allies could realize what happened. The allies managed to stop the madness by taking a strong diplomatic and military stand by the Berlin wall. But it was too late, and a lot of nations were already doomed.

    At this point, the leading nations realized that they are now facing an existential threat. Soviet Union was something much more powerful, much more sinister than the enemy they fought together yesterday, sacrificing everything in order to bring it down. In order to survive the challenge, they had to make some things clear: old nationalist model no longer worked. They could only survive this by uniting around certain civilized principles and fighting the evil back.

    This is when the notions on individual freedom, on human rights, on free and wide international trade and movement became dominant on the First World's political landscape. Nobody knows if those sentiments ever gained such a traction, were the young democracies not facing an existential crisis in the shape of a monstrous totalitarian empire - in a way, the USSR forced them to take a next step in the evolution of civilization, because that was the only step that did not lead to falling down a canyon.



    We can see nowadays what happens when such an existential threat does not exist. Now that Soviet Union is a thing of the past and Russia barely has anything to bite with, and that China is mostly self-contained and does not challenge the world order - old good authoritarian ideologies are on the rise. Instead of remembering what is important and why, nations are trying to get some minor chunks off each other by following selfish policies, by giving a lot of power to centralized governments in order to get these chunks faster and easier. Nationalism and socialism as ideologies are back in talks, even when it seemed we were done with that part of our history.

    Maybe it would be good for the world to see a new existential threat. Maybe China will wake up from slumber and start its own crusade. Maybe Russia will return to its glory days. Maybe ISIS or some other similar group takes over half the Middle East. What is clear to me is that without an axis of evil, democracies have lost direction, they are now too focused on short-term gains to recognize the importance of general principles. So, unless some sort of a new existential crisis happens soon, everything that has been built over the past 70 years may be lost to the pages of history.

    Sometimes evil is needed to strengthen the good. And this is something that the USSR did perfectly.
    But... BUT! The Soviet Union wasn’t real communism- said every communist ever
    https://www.google.com/search?q=victims+of+religion&safe=active&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=x&ved=0ahukewihu9jugorfahwkmeakhbtib00q_auidigb&biw=1920&bih=963&safe=active

    Blues and Raptors handed two very toxic teams embarrassing losses, 95% of the sports world is rejoicing in the news

    Repealing the Second Amendment is the first step to Totalitarianism, and it needs to be prevented to protect our freedom 

    http://www.atheistrepublic.com/
  • Yeah they killed 5 million of their own because they were paranoid as f*ck.
    But that’s none of my business.
    Zombieguy1987
    Sovereignty for Kekistan
  • That wasn’t real communism my . Communism is communism. There is no right and wrong communism
    Zombieguy1987
    Sovereignty for Kekistan
  • Well saying socialism is so bad is like assigning people with mustaches or people who aren’t religious are just as associated with the “evil” of the Soviet Union. Russia today with 20-30 years of capitalism including that region is no different if not potentially worse in some areas due to capitalism. Resources, people, starting capital just isn’t there in that part of the world. It is funny that the Nordic countries are the best countries in the world and they are socialist so... now yes communist China, NK, and the Soviet Union were bad because they were dictatorships run by absolutist that wanted no competition to them so they repelled anything that opposed them in any way. From that sense yes they were terrible.
  • @Zombieguy1987

    Soviet Union was socialist, but I would not say it was communist - even the country's leadership claimed that they were merely on the path to communism.

    The one state in history that somewhat approached full-on communism was Pol Pot's "Democratic Kampuchea". Incidentally, that regime killed off up to 40% of the population within 4 years; without a doubt the highest human-induced extermination rate in history, and in the absolute terms only rivaled by Black Death.

    So... Thank the goodness Soviet Union was not communist and merely socialist! Had it been communist, its territory would probably be a nuclear wasteland now.
  • @midopreal

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I get the feeling that you think Russia is a capitalist country!?!? I also sense that your opinion on the matter is addressed by a negative feeling toward capitalism. If my assertions of your opinion are accurate, all I can say is yours was a shallow and incomplete argument at best. Let me examine your argument a little closer if I may be so inclined.

    Firstly: Russia does NOT have a capitalist economic system. Although much deregulation            has occurred since the late nineties, most major corporations are owned by political insiders and industry elites. A truly capitalist system would require privatization of all industries and would allow for a more competitive economic system which Russia does not have! Your opinion that Russia is "potentially worse" because of capitalism is misguided!!!!!

    Secondly: Your claim that Russian resources "just aren't there in that part of the world" is absolutely incorrect. Russia has the largest natural gas reserves in the world, along with being the largest exporter of natural gas and the second largest exporter of petroleum, its also one of the largest crop producing and exporting countries. I think they got there resourses on lock. I fully agree with you that starting capital is lacking, but obviously that's because of trepidation toward allowing free enterprise. I'm not quite sure if you're trying to claim that capitalism has caused some sort of lack of resources in Russia, but if you are, you're wrong in every manner possible. Russia does not lack recourses, and they're not a capitalist country!!

    Thirdly: Your claim that "Nordic countries are the best countries in the world" is only your opinion, and you offer nothing in the way of statistical facts to back your claim. Now I'm sure that if you choose to post a rebuttal, this would be the time for you to cite some sort of "worlds happiest nations report" to back your claim. I find it rather easy to deconstruct any such findings. I will point out that most people in Nordic countries live by different ideals than others.(I myself reject the notion of communal living, but hey that's just my opinion). To assume that everyone would be happier living with the Nordic model would be to assume that what constitutes "happiness" for Nordic people, should constitute "happiness" for everyone on earth. I find that reasoning to lack depth. First we would need to scrap any ideals of individualism and liberty, and private property, and replace them with a more stringent form of collectivism. Perhaps that could work for some countries, but not all. Also, if we're going to break down the idea of "happiness", I would ask, what if your idea of happiness is to be allowed to be endlessly wealthy? Does that automatically make you "evil", or should you be allowed to ensure your financial security, or your family's financial security, even long after you're dead? Many people in my country would answer yes to the latter question. Perhaps one reason the United States aren't on the "worlds happiest nations report" is because we no longer have a truly capitalist system that would allow the means to be endlessly wealthy, or at least have more disposable wealth.

    Lastly: You claim that China, Russia, and North Korea "were bad because they were dictatorships run by absolutist that wanted no competition". Although I can't disagree with that, I should point out that you also claim that Russia is "potentially worse" today because of capitalism. Again, I obviously disagree with your opinion that Russia is capitalist, but I also disagree that Russia is "potentially worse" now than they were under a socialist system. Deregulation for Russia has proven to be highly effective in the past two decades. In the seventies, Russia experienced stagnation on a far worse scale than other developed countries, and in the eighties, the war in Afghanistan was a drain on their economy and social morale which eventually led to the break up of the Soviet Union. But even after the collapse of communism, Mikhial Gorbachev tried moving over the Nordic model system with disastrous consequences. Poverty and hyperinflation skyrocketed and life expectancy rates plummeted. In the late nineties, Russia was in its worse state since WWII. Because of the new direction that Russia has embarked on, their economy has come back to life, life expectancy rates have rebounded and morale has improved dramatically. Russians disposable wealth has more than quadrupled. I fail to see how Russia is "potentially worse" today than it was during the last four decades of the last millennium. What of your claim that Russia was run by absolutists who opposed competition? Do you somehow expect a socialist economic system to encourage competition?!?! I'm not claiming that cooperatives and communally based societies don't work, but they are certainly not conducive to competition.

    I'm not going to say that you're not free to have your opinion, but thus far, that's all your argument is based on, an opinion. Your argument doesn't seem to be commanded by any objective rationale. 
  • @midopreal

    As someone who has lived in Russia for quite a lengthy period of time, I would characterize their economy as some kind of a mix between the late Soviet semi-socialism, and Mussolini's corporate state system. It has very little in common with capitalism, and even China has a much freer market nowadays than Russia does. It is definitely a bad place to live in, and an even worse place to do any sort of business in. From bribes you have to pay to multiple individuals in the corporate state chain in order to partake in any economical activity past simple "went to a store and bought something", to serious nationalization and forceful oligopolization of the market, it is no wonder that most prominent domestic companies have moved their headquarters elsewhere.

    That said, to claim that Russia today is "potentially worse" than Soviet Union at any stage of its evolution is to demonstrate a serious lack of knowledge of that part of the world. Go to any major city in Russia, and you will see expensive sport cars blasting through highways. Where in Soviet times it was hard to secure a stable and sufficient nutrition for 99% of the population, nowadays problems are less immediate, and relate more to safety and security, as well as the ability to afford middle class-level goods, than the ability to feed one's family.

    China, by the way, is still a totalitarian dictatorship, yet it does offer, albeit very crony and corrupt, a large semi-free market segment. And once it conducted a series of heavy free market reforms, the quality of life jumped by a couple orders of magnitude. This shows that a dictatorship very well can lead to significant economical growth given the right economical reforms. Other examples, such as Tanzania, show that lack of dictatorship in itself does not guarantee any prosperity either. It is obvious that this is more about capitalism being a much more effective system than socialism, than about dictatorship/democracy partition.

    Should I even mention Singapore, one of the prosperous economies in the world, that up until 90-s had one of the harshest dictatorships in the world?

    "They failed because they were dictatorships, not because they were socialist" is obviously a fallacious statement. And it is demonstrated by the fact that every single time a socialist economy was attempted anywhere in the world, the affected nation was utterly wrecked.

    Also, Nordic countries are not socialist by any stretch of imagination; they are free market capitalist economies with heavy governmental intervention in several sectors. As for them being "the best countries in the world", it really depends on your metric; personally, I would never move there if I could help it, and as far as Europe goes, I would go for Switzerland or the UK instead.
    Zombieguy1987
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