>>> Brad De Long says
I've always thought that the key difference between Communist regimes that are an improvement over the other alternatives is how the regime comes to power. Those that come to power through free elections or genuine mass movements are generally pretty good: Allende was vastly superior to Pinochet; the Sandinistas superior to their conservative opposition (and vastly superior to Somoza). Those that come to power through foreign armies, long guerrilla wars, or coups are almost always very bad: Lenin-Stalin, Mao, Kim Il Sung, Pol Pot, Tito, Honecker.
The only one of the second category that I offhand think was better than the alternative was the Afghan Communist Party. Najibullah was surely preferable to the Taliban.>>>
Chas. I just want to contradict Brad especially on Lenin. Lenin was more democratic and mass based than all of the bourgeois dictatorship executives in government and business put together. Most of the body count in the Soviet Union is on the bourgeois dictatorship's toll. Brad uses too simple of a cause and effect model in doing his body counts. That's why he draws such typically pro-Western self-congratulatory and anti-communist conclusions about the democratic supremacy of the bourgeois system.
Oh don't put in communists, we bourgeoisie will slaughter a lot of your people through war and blockade if you do and then we will put it on the communist historical body count not ours. And we bourgeoisie will decide how many people died.
If socialism around the world had been able to develop without deadly threat and deprivation by imperialism, many of the internal murders and contradictions would not have occurred.
Imperialism is the proximate cause of much of the death in historical socialism.
Guilty ! Capitalism. We will celebrate your fall.