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The meaning of the word.....gulag.......

Words have been bandied about.....words which have an ominous sound to them. I have heard others use the word Vietnam, or quagmire. I have not, however heard anyone speak the word which i fear more. It is the word Gulag.
What is meaning of the word Gulag?

It is a Russian acronym for the Main Directorate for Corrective Labor Camps of the former Soviet Union.

From Guantanamo to Abu Gharib to Pelican Bay, The Unites States has constructed a vast network of prison camps.

The tool of the totalitarian state is its prisons. The tools are in place.

Totalitarianism is not far behind.

The american gulag is about to appear.....

Gulag 12.May.2004 11:09

Watcher

So are you saying that communist Russia was a totalitarian and oppressive state because they had these facilities? Pretty much every communist state has had something like a Gulag, so does that mean that all communist states are oppressive and totalitarian?

Just want to be clear on what you are saying.

the names change, the contents the same 12.May.2004 12:32

looker

...all states have the same apparatus (kops, courts, military) because all states are fundamentally alike, a minority with a legal (self-bestowed) monoply of force, an ideology to legitimate themselves, with various carrots and sticks to lull or seduce or coerce the population. all states mandate that you stay on the treadmill (economix), so as to provide all the infrastructure of administration and control...sweet gig, getting the suckers to pay for their own enslavement. in america, wether you're a flag waving jingo or a flag burning progressive, all of us sustain and nuture our masters and it wouldn't matter if they were 'communist' instead of 'capitalists'...the mechanisms are the same, with the same goal, the cultivation and extension of power.

you have got to be kidding 12.May.2004 13:09

me

You are in doubt that Russia and it's satellite states under Communism (so called) were despotic, totalitarian police states ?!? There is an 850 page book called "The Black Book of Communism", written by French leftists, and translated by the Harvard Press (hardly a right wing think tank by any stretch)...you might want to peruse it some time. Powell's can get you a copy.

My, my, we are in deep doo doo if you kids have been dumbed down this far by your Marxist college professors. You don't even know history !
At least, I hope at least, you can recognize what a concentration camp looks like, because our own Evil Empire is building them left and right...

me 12.May.2004 13:33

you

are an idiot, even for a troll. Not one word in the above article, or any of the comments says anything about "Communist" states not being totalitarian. The poster is saying the U.S. is also headed that way. He wasn't talking about the Soviets at all. At least read what people post!

"despotic, totalitarian police states" 12.May.2004 13:43

-

try getting within 2 miles of Bush wherever he travels in his own country

remind me again what is wrong with gulags 12.May.2004 15:18

red hammer

I fail to see what is wrong with sending enemies of the people into re-education camps. There are a lot of CEOs, generals and politicians who would do quite well with a little of the peoples tough love. Just because a society is somewhat oppressive doesn't necessarily mean it is all bad. Sure, the Russians had to stand in line for bread, but they all ate. Sure, their clothes weren't dapper by fashion minded western standards, but everyone was clothed. Their apartments looked like shoe boxes, but no one lived under a bridge. I suppose the main failure of Soviet Communism was the establishment of a centralized dictatorship. Democratic Communism is certainly more open, but would be most effective if the reactionaries are effectively quarantined. Don't be so naive as to think the centralized dictatorship we are now living under will be destroyed by happy thoughts alone. Be prepared to slaughter the oppressors with all the same violence they would gladly apply to you.

Peace can only exist through solidarity.

an answer 12.May.2004 15:22

tt01

to Watcher: i'll answer your question for you, though i cant speak for the poster Rick:

"So are you saying that communist Russia was a totalitarian and oppressive state because they had these facilities?"

i dont think the poster is implying that the facilities were of themselves a sufficient condition for totalitarian oppression - though they sure as hell could be a necessary one. granted though, that the lack of gulags does not necessairly rule out totalitarian oppresion a la Brave New World, it is hard to imagine a totalitarian society functioning without a horribly repressive prison system.

"Pretty much every communist state has had something like a Gulag, so does that mean that all communist states are oppressive and totalitarian?"

ahhh...since you state that 'pretty much every...something like a gulag', that would be a big fat yes. if you want to argue this as some kind of symbolic logic statement it is a bit more difficult. as i said gulags do not mean 100% totalitarinism, but it sure as hell aint proof of a free society. i think i can say with full confidence that a communist, or non-communist for that matter, state that has 'something like a gulag' would indeed be an oppressive and totalitarian state. cant wait for your response. i'd love to know why the hell you asked such a rhetorical question in the first place.

to "you": you say of "me":
are an idiot, even for a troll.

and you are a freak even for an american (?) nice try calling me a troll. not likely.

Not one word in the above article, or any of the comments says anything about "Communist" states not being totalitarian.

try reading the post by Watcher

The poster is saying the U.S. is also headed that way. He wasn't talking about the Soviets at all. At least read what people post!

at least read what people post yourself. Watcher phrased a question in such a way that me was dumbfounded by the need to even ask the question. quite frankly, so am i. i'd really love to know what the hell Watcher was getting at. and the whole point of the post was that gulag was a russian acronym. and guess what it came from Soviet Russia. like, pay attention, like...

red hammer 12.May.2004 17:00

tt01

i wont waste my time replying to all your inane comments:

"I fail to see what is wrong with sending enemies of the people into re-education camps."

hatred and violence breed more of the same. it doesnt work on either side. you simply make more enemies.

"Just because a society is somewhat oppressive doesn't necessarily mean it is all bad."

are you on drugs? one more question: who, exactly, gets to decide the definition of "somewhat oppressive" you and you buddies?

"Sure, the Russians had to stand in line for bread, but they all ate."

is that right? you are obviously a disinformationist or just plain nuts. stalin killed millions. and they died of starvation.

"Sure, their clothes weren't dapper by fashion minded western standards, but everyone was clothed."

really? and there are poor people walking around naked in this country? wtf on earth are you talking about? oh...thats right you not trying to make sense, are you?

"Their apartments looked like shoe boxes, but no one lived under a bridge."

holy cow, you are perhaps the single most ignorant poster i've seen in a long time. you make the recent dittoheads look compassionate and intelligent by comparison.

"Democratic Communism is certainly more open, but would be most effective if the reactionaries are effectively quarantined. Don't be so naive as to think the centralized dictatorship we are now living under will be destroyed by happy thoughts alone. Be prepared to slaughter the oppressors with all the same violence they would gladly apply to you."

right, so that you could get in line to oppress the oppressors? no thanks josef

The Bush Administration's Global Gulag - Secret US jails hold 10,000 13.May.2004 00:07

ANDREW BUNCOMBE and KIM SENGUPTA

WASHINGTON - Almost 10,000 prisoners from President George W. Bush's so-called war on terror are being held around the world in secretive American-run jails and interrogation centres similar to the notorious Abu Ghraib Prison.

Some of these detention centres are so sensitive that even the most senior members of the United States Congress have no idea where they are.

From Iraq to Afghanistan to Cuba, this American gulag is driven by the pressure to obtain "actionable" intelligence from prisoners captured by US forces.

The systematic practice of holding prisoners without access to lawyers or their families, together with a willingness to use "coercive interrogation" techniques, suggests the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib now shocking the world could be widespread.

Iraq has become a holding pen for America's prisoners from 21 countries, according to a report from the international campaign group Human Rights Watch.

The US military is keeping prisoners at 10 centres, most of which were used by Saddam Hussein's regime. The total in January was 8968, and is thought to have increased.

Prisoners are being held from, among other countries, Algeria, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Yemen.

A report in the Washington Post has revealed that up to 8000 Iraqi prisoners are being held at Abu Ghraib, the jail west of Baghdad also known as the Baghdad Central Correctional Facility or BCCF, and nine other facilities inside Iraq.

It is impossible to know for sure because the Pentagon refuses to provide complete information.


... 13.May.2004 08:05

maks

"in my ideal society...hard labor and the miseries of life shall be doled out to those who presently experience neither of the above"
-nietzsche

the problem with a superman 13.May.2004 08:54

tt01

maks, nice try. the only problem with your dumb quote is that nietzsche never worked a day in his life. thats great, quote a guy who made prof at 24 about what the ideal society is. you would piss on his grave if you knew your ass from a hole in the wall.

Gulags and communism 13.May.2004 13:28

Watcher

tt01
Nice response, seems to be well thought out, so I'll let you know why I was asking.
This online community -for the most part - seems to have a unrealistic view of what life was like, and would be like, in a communist or socialist economy. The original poster, by referring directly to one of the primary means of State Oppression used by Soviet Russia, and then acknowledging that Communist Russia as Totalitarian, seemed like, well, intelletual honesty, which is awful rare anywhere.
I'll grant that EVERY state uses some form of coercion on its people, that is the nature of a State, but I'll also argue that socialist/communist states use MORE coercion than a state that has a free market economy.
So, I asked my question to see if the poster understood what it was that he was saying, considering the political slant of this community.
Trolling, perhaps, but I'm trying not to be an ass about it.

call it whatever you want 14.May.2004 00:58

me

This has indeed been a fun game...a nice afternoon spent fishing for ideologies at PDX indymedia...I'll give it that. It is pretty entertaining, in a really morbid "black humor" sort of way. Heck, that's why I lurk here...it certainly ain't the sophisticated or even modern level of political discourse !

But you are wasting your time here if you expect logic or consistency out of these people. Given the hundreds upon hundreds of posts I've read over the years, I will hazzard a guess that I have a teeny bit of an idea of what your typical PDX indymedia poster's worldview consists of...look, wealthy children usually rebel against all of their privilege, and it only makes sense that the tenured Marxists in our higher educational systems find them to be ripe pickings. It's all pretty normal college age rebellion and identity shopping, and this is nothing new...just more accelerated, given the current technologies and political climate. The sad thing is that so many brilliant young minds that are justly outraged by current events and the current gang of criminals in the White House are twisted by this set of circumstances and funneled down the drain into the hands of the detrius of the Communist Party, to the point where some of them knowingly and even eagerly quote mass murderers such as Josef Stalin and Mao Tse Tung, while they loudly decry "NAZIS" out of the other side of their young mouthes, not even realizing what the acronyms NSDAP and GULAG stood for, or that self described Communist regimes murdered at least 10-15 times as many innocent, dust poor peasants as the Nazis did, brutally, coldly, systematically, and as a direct aim and result of Communist ideology, by their own admission and records. There is a phrase...FALSE DICHOTOMY...that certainly applies here, along with the phrase COGNITIVE DISSONANCE. Of course, the point that is entirely lost on these courageous young foot soldiers of...something...is that the modern and very frightening Right Wing Socialist agendas of the world banking system are advanced no matter WHAT puppets are on TV, while they chase smoke and mirrors, and even their own tails on electronic bulletin boards, one foot after another, falling in line just like their Masters want them to. One in 50 will graduate on up to the next echelon of political thought...and to those other 49 who say that they are willing and able to take up arms for some professor's myopic "cause"...well, I'll see you out at the shooting range, and if you come over to the place I live at looking to seize my property in the name of the "people"...well, lets just say that there are lots of people in this world whom you have not met nor accounted for, yet, but you will, in good time.

You know, if you go waaaay back and look at the ancient cutting edge Anarchist movement from the early to mid '70's, even THEY correcty realized the absolutely ludicrous and untenable nature and hypocrisy of the Communist party platform. This was, of course, purely based upon the relentless dissection of Leftist academic theory itself and the stories of desperate refugees, as the Iron Curtian, like the greater German Reich under National Socialism, had closed borders and kept secret records. Now that those records are somewhat open, today, one wonders when, if ever, American Communists stuck in amber...ensconced in Acedemia...will judge the horrific actions of both systems by the same set of standards.

Or, now that I mention it, focus their attention on the current mob of gangsters occupying Washington without all the thoroughly discredited and DISCREDITING Communist ideology in the way. And, with that, I'm outta here, before all the boring old insults and threats from the same ol', same ol' recycled illiterate cowards who hide behind computers come sailing in...jeez, I could by myself actually give you those nasty words of yours, too, because even a simple computer program could spit more imaginative crap out, but...tonight I'm feeling a little lazy. So have at it, you brave footsoldiers, you !

"me" 14.May.2004 11:03

tt01

"Of course, the point that is entirely lost on these courageous young foot soldiers of...something...is that the modern and very frightening Right Wing Socialist agendas of the world banking system are advanced no matter WHAT puppets are on TV"

a-freaking-men. right on me. you said it. the likes of red hammer are obviously quite confused. and it seems watcher asked the question out of logical curiosity. in any case, socialism per se is not the problem or humanity's curse - and i dont think you are implying that. the curse of humanity is the passion of those willing to destory thier enemies completely, without any cooperation discussion or attempt at reconciliation. sometimes those things arent possible. but when people start advocating killing or stringing up CEOs, any moron can understand they are missing a few marbles.
peace