I think that the paris commune as well is a good example of workers democracy and proletarian dictatorship. The real interesting thing, if you want to get into the paris commune, was that Marx saw it as the correct implementation of his ideas; meanwhile Bakunin (the anarchist) congratulated the paris commune for avoiding the pitfalls of "marx's state socialism." I will let you draw your own conclusions from this but would continue talking about it as well.
My historical position on the USSR was that it was to be supported up until around the end of the civil war when the workplace democracy was not restored after the defeat of the invading armies.
I have to catch some sleep now (only got like 8 hours of sleep the last 4 days since I took a road trip out to chicago for the nato protests) and I work tomorrow. I usually check revleft once a day however, so I will be back on tmro night after I am done selling my labor power if you would like to continue our discussion.
I think it sounds like you are heading in the right direction. I mean really to somehow justify that the USSR was socialist and that the workers actually had control over the means of production takes a certain amount of mental gymnastics, if you will. The purges were also a very very bloody affair and under Stalin were handled with a bullet and a wall, while under Lenin you would have just been purged from the party (if I am not mistaken).
I would also say that the whole idea that the material conditions of the country could have changed over night from socialist to revisionist simply because Stalin died and his successors abandoned his ideals, is quite literally one of the most idealist positions held on the left.
Maybe it would be better to continue the discussion here, rather than drag that thread off topic, I have got a bit of time to chat if you`d like. What was it exactly which shook your faith in your marxist-leninist convictions?
I just wanted to give you a thumbs up for being one of the most coherent, logical, and informed Stalinist on this site. I may disagree with your politics, but hey, at least you know what the hell you are talking about (which is more than I can say for some Stalinists on this site).
I see that somebody already posted the information about the Referendum. This Referendum is never mentioned in any discussion about the collapse of the USSR that I felt something wrong in it when I firstly heard about it.
Here is a quote on Trotsky's support of Nazis that I borrowed from Ismail.
"Hitler's soldiers are German workers and peasants. . . . The armies of occupation must live side by side with the conquered peoples; they must observe the impoverishment and despair of the toiling masses; they must observe the latter's attempts at resistance and protest, at first muffled and then more and more open and bold. . . . The German soldiers, that is, the workers and peasants, will in the majority of cases have far more sympathy for the vanquished peoples than for their own ruling caste. The necessity to act at every step in the capacity of 'pacifiers' and oppressors will swiftly disintegrate the armies of occupation, infecting them with a revolutionary spirit." --1940