A myth which is commonly promulgated by many posters on this site is that the Soviet Union was Socialist. It is usually used as a boogy-man kind of argument to try and criticise the idea that a Socialist alternative is possible.
I have continuously refuted this line of thinking by many posters and thought that to create a thread on it to discuss the idea would attempt to settle this argument.
One of the clearest pieces of evidence is from a quote from Lenin himself, ''While the revolution in Germany is slow in "coming forth," our task is to study the state capitalism of the Germans, to spare no effort in copying it and not shrink from adopting dictatorial methods to hasten the copying of it.''-my bold.
Lenin put forward the view that for Socialism to be achieved, the Soviet Union, a largely agrarian society at the time, had to go through the process of industrialisation to then achieve Socialism. But it never worked out that way, because the Totalitarian system they put in place, with a ''labor army'' and ''maximal leader'', meant that it could not, with the country staying in the State Capitalist phase.
Prior to 1917, Socialist groups were organising Factory committees, which are organs of worker control of production, which is one of the core principles of Socialism. But the Bolshevists turned against this process in the final weeks of 1917, destroying these Factory committees and ''restoring "law and order" in industry -- a law and order that
reconsolidated the authoritarian relations in production, which for a brief period had been seriously shaken''-Maurice Brinton, The Bolsheviks and Workers' Control, 1917 to 1921: the State and Counter-Revolution. This is clear evidence that worker control of production, and as a result Socialism, never occurred, with the Bolsheviks beginning the ''restoration of capitalist management of industry.''
Brinton goes on to say that "Nowhere in Lenin's writings is workers' control ever equated with fundamental decision-taking (i.e. with the initiation of decisions) relating to production.'' This shows that Lenin was interested in centralised control, not workers having their own say. Centralization of the Economy actually grew rapidly during the Civil War period.
Socialist policies, by definition, are policies which are democratic. To say that Stalin was socialist is ridiculous.