(1/2) (by /u/flesh_eating_turtle Hello comrades, I figured it would be helpful to have a bunch of useful studies and sources all in one place, so people would have a useful resource for debating right-wingers and reactionaries. Most of them are from neutral or outright anti-communist sources, to counter any claims of “commie propaganda”. I’ve divided them up by category.

Quality of Life Under Socialism / Economic Performance of Socialism

“Communism is All About Dictatorship!”



  • Slavic Review (Cambridge University Press) | Fear and Belief in the USSR’s “Great Terror”: Response to Arrest, 1935-1939
    • An article refuting many common misconceptions about the so-called “Great Terror” under Stalin, demonstrating that the number of people arrested was much lower than commonly supposed. Also discusses the general support of the Soviet people for the socialist government, refuting the notion of a “captive population” put forth by many reactionaries.
  • Slavic Review (Cambridge University Press) | On Desk-Bound Parochialism, Commonsense Perspectives, and Lousy Evidence: A Response to Robert Conquest on the USSR
    • Robert W. Thurston, professor emeritus at Miami University (Ohio), thoroughly debunks the claims of Robert Conquest (and other reactionary historians) on the Stalin-period of the USSR, stating “Stalin, the press, and the Stakhanovite movement all regularly encouraged ordinary people to criticize those in authority.” He points out that many arrests in the 1930’s were actually late punishments for genuine offenses, such as serving in the White Army during the Civil War. Thuston also puts forth the question “If the citizenry was supposed to be terrorized and stop thinking, why encourage criticism and input from below on a large scale?” He also states that “my evidence suggests that widespread fear did not exist in the case at hand [the Soviet “Great Terror” period]”.
  • Yale University Press | Life and Terror in Stalin’s Russia, 1934-1941
    • Investigates the extent of coercion and force in Stalin’s USSR, concluding that “Stalin did not intend to terrorize the country and did not need to rule by fear. Memoirs and interviews with Soviet people indicate that many more believed in Stalin’s quest to eliminate internal enemies than were frightened by it.” The book also shows that “between 1934 and 1936 police and court practice relaxed significantly. Then a series of events, together with the tense international situation and memories of real enemy activity during the savage Russian Civil War, combined to push leaders and people into a hysterical hunt for perceived ‘wreckers.’ After late 1938, however, the police and courts became dramatically milder.”
      • One of the books more interesting comments, specifically relating to Stalin: “There was never a long period of Stalinism without a serious foreign threat, major internal dislocation, or both, which makes identifying its true nature impossible.” One of the more interesting statements from a bourgeois historian on Stalin, acknowledging that the repression of the Stalin period, far from being the casual whim of the man himself, emerged as a mass response to genuine threats.

“Communism Killed _____ Million People!”

“Capitalism Improves Quality of Life!”

  • The Guardian | Bill Gates Says Poverty Is Decreasing. He Couldn’t Be More Wrong.
    • Professor Jason Hickel, from the London School of Economics, discusses what he calls the “coerced global proletarianisation” of people across the world, and debunks the common right-wing claim that global poverty is decreasing under capitalism. He cites Harvard economist Lant Pritchitt, who points out that the World Bank statistics on poverty reduction are torn to shreds when one adjusts the poverty line to a realistic standard for human life, and if one does this, then we see that global poverty is increasing, not decreasing, with well over half the global population living in poverty.
  • World Social and Economic Review | Incrementum ad Absurdum: Global Growth, Inequality, and Poverty Eradication in a Carbon-Constrained World
    • Study which found that it would take over 200 years at current rates to eradicate global poverty, assuming an unchanging rate of growth. Most importantly, states that “poverty eradication, even at $1.25-a-day, and especially at a poverty line which better reflects the satisfaction of basic needs, can be reconciled with global carbon constraints only by a major increase in the share of the poorest in global economic growth, far beyond what can realistically be achieved by existing instruments of development policy – that is, by effective measures to reduce global inequality.” I.e. Capitalism cannot successfully solve the problem of global poverty.
  • BBC Health | Privatization in Post-Soviet States “Raised Death Rate”, Says Lancet Medical Journal
    • A study from the Lancet (perhaps the most prestigious medical journal on Earth) found that “as many as one million working-age men died due to the economic shock of mass privatization policies.” Some states got the worst of it, as the study notes “Russia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were worst affected, with a tripling of unemployment and a 42% increase in male death rates between 1991 and 1994.”
  • New Economic School | Mortality and Life Expectancy in Post-Communist Countries
    • Study exploring the huge increase in mortality rates following the restoration of capitalism in Eastern Europe. This is contrasted with Cuba, which had an increase in life expectancy during this time, despite suffering an economic crisis due to the fall of the USSR. This indicates that the health crises were not simply linked to economic turmoil, but rather the restoration of capitalism.
  • The New York Times | Wealth Grows, But Health Care Withers in China
    • Article describing how market reforms in China caused the collapse of the socialist healthcare system, leading to massive health problems among the population.


  • World Health Organization (United Nations) | 6 in 10 People Continue to Lack Access to Safe Sanitation, 3 in 10 Lack Clean Drinking Water at Home
    • Report from the WHO finding that a majority of the world’s population continues to lack safe sanitation, while around 30% have no safe drinking water at home. According to the World Bank, it would cost $150 billion to provide free sanitation and clean drinking water to every person on Earth. This is less than 60% of Apple’s total revenue last year.
  • Wikisource | Memo PPS23 by George Kennan
    • An internal memo to the U.S. Secretary of State, discussing the post-WWII Marshall Plan, as well as general anti-communist strategy. The memo states that capitalist intervention in the third-world is necessary because communism “has a greater lure for such peoples, and probably greater reality, than anything we could oppose to it.” Also contains one of the most blatant imperialist statements ever written: “In the face of this situation we would be better off to dispense now with a number of the concepts which have underlined our thinking with regard to the Far East. […] We should cease to talk about vague and—for the Far East—unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts.”
  • Economic Policy Institute | The Productivity-Pay Gap
    • Demonstrates how wages have failed to rise with productivity for decades, showing how exploitation of workers is growing as capitalism develops further.

“Capitalism is Democratic!”

Atrocities of Capitalism

“Ask Somebody Who Lived Under Communism!”

Studies consistently find that people in most ex-socialist countries feel that life was better under socialism than it is under capitalism:

Many people still remember life before socialism, and remain appreciative for its achievements:

I will add more sources as I find them. Hopefully I can turn this into a giant compilation of evidence against reactionary arguments.

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