Friday, November 10, 2017

[dgxxljll] Does socialism erase class divisions?

Many socialist and communist countries worked very hard to create a classless society, erasing class divisions and class structures from the previous (overthrown) society.  Did it work?  Socialism and communism cause a lot of problems, especially economic stagnation and political corruption, but does it at least solve (or make significant headway against) this one social evil of classism?

On one hand, class divisions seem extremely insidious, so difficult to erase.  People discriminate at a very personal level toward those they feel are Not One Of Us.  Such behaviors are deeply connected to identity.  It seems impossible for a government to regulate people's behavior at such a personal, intimate level.  The breakup of communist countries after the Cold War suggests that much identity survived efforts to erase or homogenize it.

On the other hand, this question was inspired by a Georgian, Joseph Stalin, becoming leader of the Soviet Union.  I don't know how Russians and Georgians regarded one another, but clearly they (now) see each other as the Other enough to be separate countries and fight wars against each other.  It is therefore very surprising that that otherness did not prevent Georgian Stalin from gaining power, in fact, gaining ultimate power, within the likely highly Russian Marxist/Communist/Leninist movement.  (With how much of an accent did Stalin speak Russian?  Presumably it was a second language.)

If the Communists had won the U.S. in the 1950s and successfully imposed communist rule for a few generations, what would be the state of race relations in America now?  I can see it going either way: race relations in that alternate universe U.S. might be just as bad as here, or it could be much better.  (The communist U.S. economy would of course be crap.)


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