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Old 10-14-2008, 02:17 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2006
Default Reality Rosa: A world where Communism works

Reality Rosa - A world where Communism works

"The greatest danger that I see in the present situation is that Germany may throw her lot in with the Bolsheviki..."

-Lloyd George, British Prime Minister, 1918

"The abolition of the rule of capital, the realization of a socialist social order — this, and nothing less, is the historical theme of the present revolution. It is a formidable undertaking, and one that will not be accomplished in the blink of an eye just by the issuing of a few decrees from above. Only through the conscious action of the working masses in city and country can it be brought to life, only through the people's highest intellectual maturity and inexhaustible idealism can it be brought safely through all storms and find its way to port."

-Rosa Luxemburg, 1918

Perhaps it was just a stroke of luck, a historical accident, that let Rosa Luxemburg, Karl Liebknecht and the rest of the Spartacist leadership elude the Freikorps assassins in 1919.

The effect of this accident, however, was to be seen four and a half years later, on October 15th, 1923, when after several false starts, the Luxemburgist KPD finally won a working class majority, seized power and held on for dear life. After the fire, blood and iron of the German Civil War, Luxemburg's party went about the work of socialist construction with genuine Teutonic thoroughness. As Vorsitzender of the Rat der Volkskommissare throughout the crucial early years of the German Federated Socialist Council Republic, Luxemburg's name ranks alongside Lenin and Trotsky as the foremost leaders of the socialist world revolution.

A Red Sun Rises

The victory of German Communism shook the capitalist world to its foundations. The first act of the Rätenrepublik government was to publicly annul the Versailles treaty, that "shameful contract of imperialist slavery". The second act was to nationalize all major banks and cartels under workers' management. Under the banner of the League of Nations, France and Britain tried feverishly to strangle the revolution, bankrolling every anticommunist force from the rightwing Social Democrats to the Nazis and hastily uniting them in the counter-revolutionary "Republican" Armies. It foundered on the rocks of their own workers' resistance. The British unions struck supplies bound for the German White Armies, as the CPGB tripled in size practically overnight. A botched uprising of the French Communists succeded in terminating Poincaré's intervention in the German Civil War, but ushered in the victorious Fascist coup of 1926. The sense that the end of the world - at any rate, the old world - was near, spread into the most conservative milieux of the wealthiest countries. All across the planet, people turned away from liberal democracy in increasing numbers: the poor, to communism; the rich, to fascism. The great world war of the classes appeared inevitable, and the defeat of the bourgeoisie more and more likely, as a mighty Socialist Soviet Federation arose from the ruins of capitalist Central and Eastern Europe.

The German October changed every factor in the socialist equation. The numerous, wealthy and literate German workers kept their appointed managers in line, and supplanted them to a large and increasing degree with proletarian self-rule. Cementing forever the Lenin-Trotsky line of international revolution, it consigned Stalin to the background, a self-described Trotskyist to his dying day. German industry absolved the Soviet Federation of having to bootstrap itself economically. Far from devolving into genocidal totalitarianism, under Lenin, Trotsky and Luxemburg the federation of workers' republics eased into an ever richer and freer socialist democracy. Never strangled by the dead hand of a privileged, despotic bureaucracy, but on the contrary invigorated and corrected at every step by proletarian freedom of speech, organization and criticism - that is, by soviet democracy - the socialist planned economy accumulated success after earth-shaking success.

The First Plan of 1925-29 centred around what was known then as Ostanhebung or Tyshkoshchina (after the German Volkskommissar of Planning, Lev "Tyshko" Jogiches) but is now usually referred to as esthiseyo. It involved the eastward transfer of four and a half million German workers and technicians, together with billions of marks' worth of goods and machinery, industrializing Russia at a pace that completely sidelined Stalin's effort on Homeline, which was, despite everything, one of that history's greatest economic successes. Agriculture was collectivized on a voluntary basis, backed by huge subsidies and grants from the now wealthy state. In accordance with the Marxist program, violence was avoided, and by the end of the decade, more than one third of Soviet farmers worked on the booming collective farms. The economy of Sowjet-Deutschland grew at an admittedly impressive rate of about 10%, but the former territories of Czarism experienced an astonishing average of 70% yearly growth. As Rosa Luxemburg put it in a 1925 speech to the Berlin workers: "We shall sow with knowledge, industry, and culture, those Russian steppes and those Ukrainian fields for which capitalism could find no seeds but bullets and corpses."

With the growth of proletarian influence at the expense of Soviet bureaucratism, those Communists who supported increased workers' freedom and welfare gained the upper hand. The resumption of vigorous factionalism in the united CPSF led straight to a radical extension of proletarian democracy in the whole Federation. In 1926, the Soviet Government legalized all political parties that accepted state ownership of the means of production. Dzherzhinsky was not too happy with Lenin's conclusion, first demanded by Luxemburg, that the GPU/SPE should be "dismantled, oiled, cleaned and put securely under lock and key", but reconciled himself to this decision of the overwhelming Party majority that year. Partly voluntarily, but mostly kicking and screaming, the secret police was defanged by degrees, reestablishing freedom of organization and opinion. From 1932, with socialism securely in the saddle, all parties apart from White Guards and fascists were permitted to contest elections. Thanks to their farsighted and genuinely proletarian policies, the Communists still had decisive support among the workers and thus an absolute majority in the Congress of Soviets. The world was presented with the spectacle of Communists contesting and winning Soviet elections against those parties they had only yesterday terrorized and suppressed. On the whole, this softening of the proletarian dictatorship was referred to as the "Great Release".

The next great success internationally was the Chinese revolution of 1926. The Communist workers of Shanghai and Canton, backed by the Red Army and the rebellious peasantry, easily routed Chiang Kai-Shek and set about the task of integrating China into the SSF. The French, British and Japanese tried to intervene, but quickly pulled out for fear of provoking the Soviets as well as domestic revolt (Japanese troops came home from China, in one general's expression, "infected with the bacillus of revolution"). This was an event of world historic importance. A colossal nation of 450 million, treated by Western imperialism like dogs and slaves for centuries, finally shook off foreign rule, rose to its feet and dove headfirst into the modern age. China's greatest leader in this period was Communist founder Chen Du Xiu. China was so backward that it didn't even have a standardized language, let alone a tradition of liberal Enlightenment and democracy. Chen played the historical role not only of Lenin, but of Jefferson, Voltaire, and Chaucer besides. The last years of the First Five-Year Plan diverted significant resources to the preparation for China's anhebung, and the Second Plan was fully devoted to this enormous task. An endless stream of German, Russian and other barbarians, armed with the very latest in Western science and technique, assaulted the walls of the "Middle Kingdom" intent on breaking down, not its dignity and independence, but its degrading Asiatic backwardness. Within a decade, simply because it had more people than the rest of the Federation put together, China assumed an economic, political and cultural leading role which it has kept ever since.

At this point, despite a number of temporary setbacks, the position of world Communism seemed unassailable. When Lenin finally bit the bullet in '28, the SSF, now headed by the troika of Trotsky, Chen and Luxemburg, was the world's second greatest power: a formidable bloc stretching from the Rhine to the South China Sea, barely hemmed in by increasingly shaky fascist France and Italy, an Imperial Japan staring collapse in the face and seething British India, with America watching in fearful resignation tempered by apocalyptic desperation. The Wall Street Crash of the same year signalled, even to conservative commentators, the final death agony of capitalism.
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Old 10-14-2008, 02:20 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2006
Default Re: Reality Rosa: A world where Communism works

A planned, international community

The Bolshevik insurrection had counted on European revolution for its own survival. And indeed, internationalism was the basic principle of the Communist movement. The economic plan, which fused together the Central and East European and Asian economies (After the German October, Austria, Bulgaria and Romania fell, so to speak, automatically - Poland had to be "assisted" by the Combined Red Armies, a still controversial act) had its parallel in the intermingling and development of the Soviet cultures, and the union of the various Communist Parties with a minimum of conflict. National culture was not strangled in a bureaucratic vise but given full freedom to develop as well as encouragement to enrich and be enriched by the conglomerate of Soviet and world culture. The majority opinion, although far from unanimous, was that socialist culture had to be built not from scratch, from a "clean sheet", but on the basis of the massive cultural body developed under capitalism and previous class society, in the same way as socialist technique and thought. This was seen as the stepping stone to a peaceful, progressive federation of the world under a democratic planned economy.

The Chinese and Persian revolutions posed with renewed force the questions of an all-Soviet second language and a new, secular-rational system of timekeeping to replace the Christian and Islamic calendars. Fierce debate raged in the Communist International and in Soviet society at large. The two major linguistic contenders were Esperanto and Ido, the latter of which won out after Lenin's promotion of Ido as "Esperanto with the chinks ironed out". Taught to Soviet children from preschool on, this fully regular, streamlined, "Spanish-sounding" planned language rapidly became the world's most spoken. This was helped by its being an order of magnitude easier to pick up than, say, English. Today it is spoken by more than 96% of humanity, with 59% listing it as their 'second first language'. It is the language of the Plan, of the Infonet, of the Communist International, not to mention millions of original works of literature. It features next to the local national language on every roadsign and every restaurant menu in the world. There is a growing fear in certain quarters that the youth is actually losing its national heritage thanks to the immense preponderance of Ido - symptoms include the frequent erroneous transfer of Ido grammar and spontaneous direct translation of Ido idioms - but this is a hotly contested issue, being supported by many Communists and other progressive types.

The socialist calendar was introduced by referendum in 1933. It tried to kill two birds with one stone by abolishing Sunday and at the same time granting more days off - one in every six instead of every seven (there is presently heated debate about whether to extend the weekend from three to four days). It divides the year into twelve months, each with five weeks of six days. The months are childishly simple: Unmo, dumo, trimo, quarmo, kinmo, sesmo, sepmo, okmo, nonmo, dekmo, dekunmo and dekdumo. The days of the week descend into true banality: Undi, dudi, tridi, quardi, kindi and sesdi. The remaining five or six days constitute la semano komunia, Communion Week, a global year-end festival. Years were intially counted from the 1917 Russian Revolution (ero revolucia), but a later referendum changed it to 1968, the year of the World Communion's founding - ero komunia, Communion Era.

The German and Chinese revolutions, even moreso than the Russian, roused the hopes of the poor and oppressed of the world, thrown into war, starvation and poverty by aristocrats and capitalists. The international Five-Year Plan showed the superiority of socialism, as Trotsky put it, "not in the language of Capital, but in the language of steel, cement and electricity". But capitalism wasn't dead yet.

(To be continued...)
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Old 10-14-2008, 02:44 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyïv, Ukraine
Default Re: Reality Rosa: A world where Communism works

Nice write-up. More detail than I can remember from my history classes for comparison. BTW, what happened to Bilarus' in the early days? Did it join the red side immediately? What more can you tell about the White Guardia?

All in all, this is a commie world I actually like, especially the calendar. (I need more info on the language before I can make my mind. I get the impression that it's a flective language, which IMO isn't all that easy.)
Vicky 'Molokh', GURPS FAQ and uFAQ Keeper
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Old 10-14-2008, 03:17 PM   #4
David Johnston2
Join Date: Dec 2007
Default Re: Reality Rosa: A world where Communism works

So...why is Communism working anyway?
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Old 10-14-2008, 03:20 PM   #5
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Bristol
Default Re: Reality Rosa: A world where Communism works

There are a lot of things that should not happen to allow this to work.

1. No Russian Civil War, ie foreign powers invading Russia
2. All of Europe sinks into Revolutions
3. Colonies are granted independence

How far are we prepared to go for this theory?

4. USA also has a revolution via wobbles
5. Not all Revolutions maybe be strictly Bolshevik in style (anarcho and syndaclism
6. There will be a lot of combined and uneven developement - to borrow Trotsky's words
7. The chinese revolution is aided from 'international brigades'

Note I don't see the point of the calender thing. There are much more important tasks at hand. Food, housing, power, warmth. Improving living conditions, shortening the working week. Dictating a language is rather pointless too. Working with the logic of what the material conditions are, second and third languages are most likely to be English and French.

But seriously, to build this world there are a lot of things that are not allowed to happen. No European carve up of the Middle east and automony for their colonies.

The main problems would be the less developed world because the material conditions are not there for the basis of socialism. They could survive with the help from the developed nations but there lies a dangerous dependence of an outside force, this could be checked but still the internal contradictions of the less developed world will hamper their movement toward socialism.
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Old 10-14-2008, 03:23 PM   #6
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Bristol
Default Re: Reality Rosa: A world where Communism works

the poor, to communism; the rich, to fascism.
If only it were that simple?

false consciousness the product of alienation etc.

Why did all those people fight in the great war if it wasn't for ruling class lies?
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Old 10-14-2008, 03:25 PM   #7
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Location: Reykjavik, Iceland
Default Re: Reality Rosa: A world where Communism works

Originally Posted by David Johnston2
So...why is Communism working anyway?
Great write up, shows how Communists may have gain more power but like David J. said.... Whys is Communism working anyway in this world?
In the Griffin World I play Agriana Trotter, here is the GURPS crunch.

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Luke Skywalker "Nooo... eehh What?!"

Last edited by Hannes665; 10-14-2008 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 10-14-2008, 03:35 PM   #8
Rocket Man
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Location: Longmont, CO
Default Re: Reality Rosa: A world where Communism works

Originally Posted by smurf

Note I don't see the point of the calender thing. There are much more important tasks at hand.
Very true. But for some revolutionary movements, calendar reform is a vital symbol of the new regime -- and probably the single most difficult to actually get a people to adopt. Note the French Revolution for an example of both halves of the equation.

As far as why is this working -- I suppose because in a theoretical infinity of alternate universes, it had to work SOMEWHERE, if only on the "million seeds equals one potato" principal. In a metagaming sense, this seems somewhat like a displacement of the French Revolutionary period, but with economic forces standing in for military ones.
“It's not railroading if you offer the PCs tickets and they stampede to the box office, waving their money. Metaphorically speaking”
--Elizabeth McCoy, In Nomine Line Editor

Author: "What Doesn't Kill Me Makes Me Stronger"
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Old 10-14-2008, 03:35 PM   #9
Join Date: Aug 2005
Default Re: Reality Rosa: A world where Communism works

Two sidetracking nitpicks:
1. Infinity get confused by more specific references to non-US history,
so all parallells with "important variances from Homeline socialist history" or
"worlds where Communism managed to exceed its effect on Homeline's
history (and nothing More Important, like John W. Campbell dying young,
happens)" are designated as Lenin-(n).
2. "A world where Communism works" seems to be more or less applicable to
Lenin-3, -4 and -5 as well, even if they don't have Britannica-2 level "luck".
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Old 10-14-2008, 03:41 PM   #10
Join Date: Aug 2005
Default Re: Reality Rosa: A world where Communism works

Originally Posted by Hannes665
Great write up, shows how Communists may have gain more power but like David J. said.... Whys is Communism working anyway in this world?
Either for the same reason that Lysander works flawlessly while Communité does not or for similar reasons to those for Britannica-2 being Britannica-2.
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