Reddit Reddit reviews The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation (Volume One)

We found 29 Reddit comments about The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation (Volume One). Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

European History
The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation (Volume One)
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29 Reddit comments about The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation (Volume One):

u/illusorycrab · 72 pointsr/news

> This article has drawings of some of the torture methods that are used in NK prisons.

Wow, I'm reading The Gulag Archipelago currently and these methods are exactly in-line with what the Soviets did to their prisoners, even down to the detail of foreign prisoners usually getting preferential treatment as to avoid unnecessary international attention.

u/The_Old_Gentleman · 31 pointsr/socialism

>But the dominance of marxism-leninism in the revolutionary socialist movement is very materialistic in the sense that it derives it's popularity from the fact that it worked. Communists did manage to overthrow the bourgeoisie, they did manage to build out socialism and they did manage to supress the counter-revolution. Whatever anarchists have to say about marxism, you can't deny that it reached skies, while anarchism never decently got of the ground.

We challenge the notion that Marxism-Leninism "worked".

Did they overthrow the bourgeoisie in order for the proletariat to change social relations, or to establish a bureaucracy as a new ruling class? Did they build "socialism", or build a state-capitalist system where labor was still sold as a commodity and products were still made for exchange-value, but the State was the sole employer, the bureaucracy took control of the social surplus extracted and exchange was carried under a 'plan'? The Bolsheviks won the civil war alright, but did they also not suppress working class activity that called for the removal of hierarchical control and an end to privileges to the bureaucracy, did they not suppress the Petrograd strikes, the sailors in Kronstadt and other parties that workers also supported?

Marxism-Leninism didn't "reach the skies". It was the establishment of state-capitalism under a Red Flag. If "reaching the skies" implies avoidable famines that result in horrible human losses, establishing despotic rules for laborers to follow and internal passport system, a brutal secret police that murders with out a trial, a real archipelago of slave labor camps dedicated to torturing any dissidents, "lazy" workers and people who were at the wrong place at the wrong time, massacres of Polish people in Katyn; all of this culminating in an age of Purges and political violence that ironically kills all the best Generals right before a major war broke out, then excuse me but i'd rather not "reach the skies" with you.

And indeed, the "material reality" is that the Berlin wall fell, the entire Soviet Union reverted back into run-off-the-mill capitalism ruled by former ""socialist"" bureaucrats as oligarchs, China is now a capitalist super-power ruled by a dictatorship that terribly suppressed working class movement; and the vast majority of workers in the world want nothing to do with "Communism" because of that. It is now a synonym for failure. And this isn't just the result of "propaganda", the Berlin wall did in actuality fall and all the things i mentioned are well documented by serious historians even if they are exaggerated and spammed everywhere by right-wingers who conveniently ignore the horrors committed by the West for propaganda purposes. Marxist-Leninist parties are becoming less and less relevant by the day ever since 1991.

>Do you think anarchism could ever change their analysis on hierarchy so that they could adopt more functional and successful organisational structures?

I also strongly doubt the notion Marxist-Leninists have "functional and successful organisational structures". During the Russian Revolution, the Bolshevik Party despite claiming to be a "vanguard" was behind the masses at every turn. Every single actual revolutionary success has been characterized by extensive direct action by the masses (as pretentious would-be leaders and bureaucratic bodies are left behind by the tides) and the building of worker's councils. M-L party structures today serve as little more than grounds for lifestyle activism of militants. But to answers your question, by definition, anarchists can't abandon their opposition to hierarchical control with out abandoning anarchism.

>Although I find anarchism charming I as a communist cannot see it's revolutionary value because it has never succeeded.

Our problem at large is that socialism itself has never succeeded.

u/swarmofpenguins · 21 pointsr/Libertarian

No the famine was not planned by Mao, but it was a direct result of his regime. You realise there was food available, but people were only able to purchase it through the black market.

Fascism is no better than communism, however I do need to correct you. Nazism revolves around racism. Not all fascism is Nazism, but all Nazism is fascism.

Capitalism is an economic system not a government system. You would have to pair Capitalism against Maxism not Communism. The argument is that Democracy is better than Communism.

Yeah, the US government sucks a lot, but the conditions of US prisons are much better than the conditions of Gulags. Yes, most of the people sent to the Gulags were guilty, but the question is should the law have been in place to begin with? Should someone be thrown in a concentration camp for speaking out against the government. If you think the Gulags were any better than concentration camps You should read the gulag archipelago. It is written by a survivor of the gulags.

This bill board doesn't even argue against marxism in the form of 1st world left wing politics. It is argueing against traditional communism.

What is your opinion on North Korea, which is the only communist regime left?

As for your last point that capitalism kills far more than communism. I think there is a difference between not saving someone and killing them. The Communism death toll is calculated by totalling the number of people that were killed via direct government action. The capitalism one just counts all the deaths. Again, that isn't even the right argument because capitalism is not a form of government, but an economic theory. (Which no nation in the world embrasses to it's full extent. Most economies are somewhere in between marxism and capitalism.) The real argument is Democracy vs Communism, that's what the cold war was about. Democracy works much better than Communism and does not kill anywhere near as many people. The reason people put capitalism up against Communism is because it's much easier to make an argument that way. Even though it's not logically consistent.

Now I know this is heading in the direction of an internet argument where people just say shit and no one really wins. I'll leave a couple book recommendations below, and I would really appreciate it if you left me some book recommendations that you think would help me learn. I believe that we should always be challenging our personal beliefs, and I have an audible credit so I'm more than willing to listen to one of your suggestions. Let's make something positive come out of this. I don't want it to just be a digital shouting match.

Battlefield America

Gulag Archipelago

For a New Liberty

I hope sharing this doesn't piss you off too much. I know political discord can easily make people, myself included, mad. I hope you have a good day, and I'm serious about leaving me some links. I'll check them out. Thanks for your imput and feel free to challenge me back. If my view is right then it should be able to take criticism, right?

u/Bounds · 6 pointsr/Christianity

The Eastern rite Churches were persecuted quite badly in the USSR. The Latin rite Church was annihilated. Erased. The monasteries were converted into prisons and the Churches were used for torture and interrogation. When the Soviet Union fell and those Churches were being rehabilitated, they carried bones out of the basements by the truckload.

Would you like to know more?

u/calonto · 5 pointsr/news


Need a tldr because you're an american idiot? 5 days without sleep and a bit of stress and just about anyone will confess to anything.

u/NormalCupcake · 4 pointsr/ukpolitics

I don't think you do. You believe in the mere fantasy of what socialism should be.

eta: Here's your 'internationalism', and here, and here.

u/SammyD1st · 3 pointsr/QuotesPorn

He was right, it did.

u/randysgoiter · 3 pointsr/JoeRogan

I'm in the middle of Homo Deus currently. Its great so far, Yuval is a great writer and his books are a lot more accessible than traditional history books. I'm sure there are a lot of liberties taken with some of the history but I think Sapiens is a must-read. Homo Deus is more assumption based on current reality but its very interesting so far.

Gulag Archipelago is one I read based on the recommendation of Jordan Peterson. Awesome book if you are into WW1-WW2 era eastern europe. being an eastern european myself, i devour everything related to it so this book tickled my fancy quite a bit. good look into the pitfalls of what peterson warns against.

Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning is another history book discussing that time period and how it all transpired and the lesser known reasons why WW2 went down the way it did. some surprising stuff in that book related to hitler modeling europe around how the united states was designed at the time.

apologies for inundating with the same topic for all my books so far but Ordinary Men is an amazing book chronicling the people that carried out most of the killings during WW2 in Poland, Germany and surrounding areas. The crux of the argument which I have read in many other books is that Auschwitz is a neat little box everyone can picture in their head and assign blame to when in reality most people killed during that time were taken to the outskirts of their town and shot in plain sight by fellow townspeople, mostly retired police officers and soldiers no longer able for active duty.

for some lighter reading i really enjoy jon ronson's books and i've read all of them. standouts are So You've Been Publicly Shamed and The Psychopath Test. Highly recommend Them as well which has an early Alex Jones cameo in it.

u/acidburnz_EU · 3 pointsr/history

They should have been already pretty familiar with it. Since those camp were nothing new in Stalins Soviet Union.

He was rounding up people for the Gulag since 1919.

If someone is interested in suggest reading the Gulag Archipelago.
Written by Alexander Solzjenitsyn.
If you think the Germans were bad you better strap yourself in. Communism killed an approximated 100 million people in the 20th century. About 66 in the Soviet Union alone.

u/johnrealname · 2 pointsr/DebateAnarchism

> Yes I do.

I wasn't aware of this. I'll look into it.

> Don't you think this is a bit dishonest?
> It seems to me that you're trying to pass off sources like this in order to fool people who aren't read up on the subject.

I wasn't attempting to do this, but in retrospect I concede that my use of this source was a poor decision.

> In what way are these people libertarian.

Isn't Anarcho-Syndicalism and Communalism (or democratic confederalism) libertarian?

> Oh, was this some sort of half baked smear?

This is the second time I got this response and it really annoys me. I was arguing that political violence is inherent to any political power and how treating political violence perpetrated by the USSR as a criticism of it is unfair, because if you look into any society, no matter how nice their beliefs are, they will have committed political violence. The libertarian regimes I brought up were just examples to prove this point.

I wasn't trying to make a "half baked smear". I can't imagine how someone could read my response and take away this conclusion.

> Do you know what libertarianism is, because I don't think you do.

What does libertarianism mean to you?

u/gr_Uphill · 1 pointr/greece

>Και από τον Στάλιν Χίτλερ δεν θυμάστε παρά μόνο τα εγκλήματά του... Το μόνο που δεν άκουσα γι' αυτόν είναι ότι με το πρωινό του έτρωγε τηγανητό ανθρώπινο κρέας. Για κείνον τον Στάλιν Χίτλερ, τον Αρχιστράτηγο του Κόκκινου Στρατού της Βέρμαχτ με τις νίκες στο Στάλινγκραντ στην Πολωνία, στη Μόσχα στη Γαλλία, στο Λένινγκραντ στην Γιουγκοσλαβία και στο Βερολίνο στην Ελλάδα, δεν έχετε τίποτα να πείτε; Αν έλειπε ο Κόκκινος Στρατός η Βέρμαχτ και ο Στάλιν Χίτλερ, τι θα είχαμε σήμερα; Αραγε το σκεφτήκατε; Ποιος θα εμπόδιζε τον Χίτλερ Στάλιν να γεμίσει την υφήλιο με χιλιάδες Αουσβιτς Γκουλάγκ; Φαντάζεστε την Ελλάδα γεμάτη με στρατόπεδα εξόντωσης;

Stalin did nothing wrong

Το πρόβλημα δεν είναι η αντικομμουνιστική (ή αντιναζιστική ή αντιολοκληρωτικη γενικότερα) υστερία, το πρόβλημα είναι οτι ξεχνάμε τα εγκλήματα τους και πολύ φοβάμαι οτι γι'αυτό οδεύουμε να τα επαναλάβουμε.

Ξέρουμε φίλε Μίκη, αντικομμουνιστές σε στείλαν εξορία για τις ιδέες σου και την δράση σου. Αυτό που ξέχασαν τα συντρόφια να σου πούνε όμως είναι πως περισσότερα κοινά έχεις με τα θύματα του κομμουνισμού παρά με τα κομμούνια που υπερασπίζεσαι.

u/AlcoholicSmurf · 1 pointr/worldnews

Read this book and after if you can honestly say you still have the same opinion, I will concede. You can also give me a similar task. I have read a lot of Marx's work already though.

edit: also try this and see how this fucker was a huge anti-semite and racist.

u/Heinskitz_Velvet · 1 pointr/Documentaries

I suggest you read the Gulag Archipelago.

u/Ungface · 1 pointr/grime

If you think there is any indoctrination going on than you dont really understand history my friend. I suggest you look into the soviet union and how they indoctrinated their people. Here is a fantastic place to start

Did you know that 1 in 3 people in Soviet eastern germany was a government informer? that is what true indoctrination is. Not the imperfect western democracy that we live in.

I also think to believe that brexit only happened because of media indoctrination is disingenuous and completely disregards peoples free will and inclination to vote for it. If you do this than you are not truly interested in a free society because you believe that other peoples different opinions are not genuine.

Id actually argue that technology will make it more likely for a 1984 society to happen, We are already heading towards a system of media content that tailors itself to each an every individual, so at some point we wont be choosing what we see etc but an algorithim will.

u/transcribot · 1 pointr/TranscribersOfReddit

Lord Elend Venture • 7h

Really insightful book into the life of a

Red Army soldier his love for his country

and dear V.l Lenin. Really does a great

job of explaining how the evil and

ultimately unsuccessful people in his

country tried to fight against progress

and actually made things worse. 10 out of

10 would recommend.




v0.6.0 | This message was posted by a bot. | FAQ | Source | Questions? Message the mods!

u/TossMeAwayToTheMount · 1 pointr/IAmA

My bad, not the "poorest" ones, but the "richest" of the poor. This includes farmhands, bydlos, and farmers. Some of which that were starving and didn't turn in expected crop yields and got turned into gulags. As for some of the other cases, The Gulag Archipelago does a good job with first hand accounts of the prisoners of the gulags. Including the talk of "cripples"(ill/disfigured) such as:
Generalissimo into issuing the order to arrest all those cripples
over again, without any new charges! It was even disadvantageous,
both economically and politically, to clog the meat grinder with
its own refuse. But Stalin issued the order anyway. Here was a
case in which a historical personality simply behaved capriciously
toward historical necessity.

The orphans:

>The mid-1930s witnessed the peak of persecution of perceived political enemies, with millions of Soviet citizens imprisoned and hundreds of thousands executed.[30] Up until 1937, there were no specific guidelines on how to treat the children of these “enemies of the people”. Yet after the Great Purge there were " least several hundred thousand children [that] lost their parents". Now the government was forced to confront the problem of managing this new category of orphans.[31]

>In 1937, the Politburo decided to accommodate children of the enemies of the people in normal orphanages administered by the Narkompros. Educational staff underwent training by the NKVD (People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs), and the orphans’ names were kept on record.[32] This reflects the Communist Party’s theory of socially inherited criminality, often informally described by the traditional Russian proverb, “an apple never falls far from the tree”. Orphanages existed not only to provide welfare, but also to prevent counter-revolutionary ideas from contaminating society.[33]

>There were no official orders to discriminate against children of enemies of the people.[34] Yet orphanage staff often beat, underfed, and abused such pupils.[35] Any misbehavior was understood as the product of a counter-revolutionary upbringing, and punished harshly.[36] Treating children like budding criminals had diverse effects. In some cases, the induced "class guilt" inspired orphans to prove their loyalty to the ideals of Communism. In other cases abusive treatment was to incite resentment toward the state.[37]

>If judged to be “socially dangerous,” the NKVD sent orphans to either a colony for young delinquents or a Gulag labor camp.[38] The tendency was to place all difficult orphans in colonies, which sought to re-educate children using a labor regime.[39] Children over fifteen were liable for at least five years in camp for being a “family member of a traitor to the motherland”.[40]

>[On the same topic]Polish Orphans of Tengeru focuses on the story of 123 children who were brought to Canada in 1949 at the end of an epic journey that began with the mass deportations of Poles in 1940 to the slave labour camps of the Soviet Gulag in the Arctic, Siberia and Kazakhstan. Then, in June 1941, the Nazi dictator turned against the Soviet one. Stalin was suddenly in need of help.

>As a condition of a new alliance with the West, Stalin agreed to release his Polish prisoners, and to allow the formation of a Polish army under the command of General Władysław Anders, who had been held in the infamous Lubyanka Prison. By that time, many prisoners had died and the survivors had little chance of getting out of the country, but Anders succeeded in getting his army evacuated to the Middle East, and to take some 50 thousand civilians out with him, including thousands of orphaned children, with him.

>[Further accounts on the topic] his book is a unique description of the Stalin's Children’s Gulag. It is Russian original of the book with the same title in English. It contains several narratives. The first one, “Orphans of Communism”, is a historical overview of the orphan’s GULAG. Described are the barbaric laws, the scales of the catastrophe, the Russian criminal environment as a bearer of a special folklore—the song and musical culture of the prisons and concentration camps. English translations some of these songs are provided. The second narrative is a translation of the twenty most popular Russian street's and thief's songs in English. Then goes a thief's cant dictionary (Gulag's folklore). The next one is a main narrative of this book: an adventure story “I Am Your Prisoner for Life”. It is based on recollections from author’s experience surviving at the Center for the Intake and Evaluation of Displaced Juveniles (DPR), situated in city Luga during 1946–1948, after his parents were thrown into prison. The pictures of everyday reality go on: the stealing of food and clothes from starving children, humiliations, scuffles, bullying, assaults and batteries, sex and rape, which could be shocking even for those accustomed to Hollywood productions. The boy overcomes his terror, betrays, and denounces the ringleaders. According to the thief’s canons, a traitor must die, and the boy is punished by stabbing. He survives, escapes from the DPR, and finds his way to his mother's prison camp. This book, with a fascinating plot and amazing, unconventional musical arts, was narrated in a way that nobody before had. The indissoluble alloy of orphan’s GULAG structure, its folklore, melodies, and songs appears as a genuine richness and thrilling material for film creators. This narrative is not only an almost forgotten page of the waifs’ and strays’ lives in Stalin’s time, but also a document of accusation. The next narrative is memoirs, presented in the form of miniature stories, of a very old woman, a refugee from Russia, who survived the Blockade of Leningrad, Stalin’s prisons, exile to Siberia, and the ordeals of her children and close relatives. Some photos and documents are included in this history. The last narrative is a miniature story about an old Jewish woman interview in American Embassy in Moscow.

As for how peasants got treated, I suggest reading Brusski: A story of peasant life in Soviet Russia by Fedor Panferov.

Here you go, keep your stick on the ice. Learn something new every day, eh?

u/Tunadude · 1 pointr/youtubehaiku

You do realize it's an article ABOUT a book right? What do you want an Amazon link so you can purchase it for yourself?

u/Stebee · 1 pointr/DebateAnarchism
u/ibibble · 0 pointsr/conspiracy

Why is it called The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956?

>The Gulag Archipelago is Solzhenitsyn's attempt to compile a literary-historical record of the vast system of prisons and labor camps that came into being shortly after the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia in 1917 and that underwent an enormous expansion during the rule of Stalin from 1924 to 1953.

u/rangda · 0 pointsr/vegan

I get what you're saying but if you look at history, every instance of communism has meant people dying in the streets ennding up being the order of the day, on the worst scale imaginable.
If you get to condescendingly tell people to "check their humanity" for (perhaps reluctantly) conceding with the evidence, that capitalism has lead to the highest standard of living humanity has ever experienced, can I condescendingly recommend you read "The Gulag Archipelago" to get a more balanced view than "capitalism = greedy and evil, socialism = kindness and fairness and butterflies"

u/GingerJack76 · 0 pointsr/DebateAnarchism

>Do you have a source for this number?

Yes I do.

>9 million if you count foreseeable deaths caused by unrelated policies[1].

Your source accounts for Stalin, Don't you think this is a bit dishonest? And my source is actually reputable, and not just someone's opinion piece on the matter. It seems to me that you're trying to pass off sources like this in order to fool people who aren't read up on the subject.

>And libertarian regimes have caused death and suffering too.

In what way are these people libertarian. Oh, was this some sort of half baked smear?

>"Everybody created his own justice and administered it himself (...) it was justice administered directly by the people in the complete absence of the regular judicial bodies."

Do you know what libertarianism is, because I don't think you do.

u/knot_city · -1 pointsr/ukpolitics