User talk:Trust Is All You Need

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  1. Archive 1 (April – September 2009)
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"Candidate members"[edit]

Could you please explain to me where the practice of having "candidate" members originates from? Is it because during the Bolshevik revolution the members of these central bodies of the party had a chance of dying, so "candidates" were proposed to fill in these vacancies if the 'full' members died? Or was the intent from the beginning for candidate members to have a "voice at the table but no vote"? Colipon+(Talk) 16:58, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

@Colipon: Difficult question, but I'll try to answer as good as possible! .. The CC, and the party central bodies in general, worked different under Lenin and pre-lenin (in the original RSDLP).. The problem is two-fold, since by the late-1920s (early 1930s), CC membership became based on the slot system (similarly to the CPC today). CC candidates were members who had speaking rights at plenums, but could not vote. This was the original function, but why this came to be, I don't know.. Earlier in its history they also had a third category; prospective member. Unlike the CPC of today, being a candidate member seldom meant being transferred to full membership in the 1930s and later.
that's a very good question! Candidate members, interchangeably called non-voting members by writers on Soviet politics, were CC members who could not vote. But they were CC members. In the CPC, from what I can discern, alternate members are not members of the CC (has that always been the case?)... Why some were appointed candidates and some not in the early years I don't know; this is a problem with most studies on the USSR (interests in institutions as you and I understand them was popularised during the late-1980s, because of this studies on Soviet institutions have been neglected and forgotten)... In the beginning candidate membership entailed having a "voice at the table but no vote", but by the 1930s members in the CC was based upon the job-slot system (similar to the CPC today).. But its difficult to answer, Lenin's plan was to rule the Soviet Union through the post of head of government (Stalin ruled the the USSR as head of government from 1941 onwards, having vacated his post as general secretary in 1934). This is why several leading early Bolsheviks never became CC members during Lenin's time (the ministers were independent figures and didn't need CC membership; of course it would have been a +).. Its similar to PB meetings in the early period. When the PB was established, the CC complained it would turn the body into a second-tier institutions, it therefore requested that the PB regularly report to it and that every CC members had the right to participate and attend sessions of the PB (but CC members did not have voting rights during PB sessions; this practiced ended by the late-1920s)... However, with increased repression within its own rank the title of candidate lost its meaning (so from then on it was based on the job-slot system, as is currently practiced in the CPC today).. This is were the nomenklatura comes in.
Short answer: it originally meant a voice at the table but no vote, but this changed with increased repression within the party apparatus. By the 1930s you got shot by uttering the wrong word so what it was after that I don't know. Unlike in the CPC, the majority of CC members never became full members post-1940), but during party congresses (as during Gorbachev) it was the only way to refill the CC full category with new members. For instance, Gorby expelled several conseratives and replenished the CC in the meanwhile (waiting for the 28th Party Congress) by transferring CC candidate members to full membership status. But there was no ranking; the candidate member which the PB saw fit was transferred to full membership status (so it was entirely subjective, unlike in the CPC were you have a system in place). --TIAYN (talk) 21:15, 10 September 2015 (UTC)


In your knowledge of the communist parties of the world, how prevalent is the practice of "ranking" members according to political clout? I assume the Soviet Union did this and that is where the CPC got it from? Just to be clear I am talking about the protocol rank order sequence of the top leaders of the party. Do all Communist states partake in this practice? Seems like Vietnam ranks their Politburo members based on votes received rather than by clout, and I am not sure about Cuba. China does this to an obsessive degree of course, and so does, it seems, North Korea.
On a separate note, the ranking (hierarchy) system of the civil service of the People's Republic of China is very elaborate, and it seems to be modeled not on typically "communist state" practices as much it is rooted in the ancient Chinese practice of ranking officials (they were divided into 9 grades, 18 sub-grades, historically). One does not find such a rigid ranking system in Cuba or the Soviet Union, or even North Korea! Colipon+(Talk) 17:03, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

@Colipon: In How the Soviet Union is Governed it is stated that, during the first congresses during the revolution (that is, pre-Stalin), "the number of votes received by each candidate was announced and a rank of popularity thereby revealed.".. But this stopped with Stalin.. Rank was still in use under Brezhnev, but as in the CPC today. For instance, the 23rd Congress listed members hierarchically, but during the 1970s (when Brezhnev was at his hight of his powers) his name was usually listed first, and the other remaining PB members were listed alphabetically (so B first and then he rest in alphabetical order)... While its true that the Vietnamese currently rank their PB members, you won't find anything about ranking in the CPV during the Vietnam War. Under Stalin members were listed in alphabetical order.. This is not to say that a ranking did not exist; it did, for instance during early-to-mid 1930s (before the purge) Kaganovich was the party's no. 2 as Second Secretary (but as I've mentioned before, the post was never formalised and no list stated that K was a no. 2)... But there was a formal rank; for instance, when Stalin died Georgy Malenkov was the presumptive heir since he was First Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers (Government First Deputy Prime Minister that is). Kosygin was formally no. 2 until he retired in 1980, but in reality he was not the no. 2 in the PB (Mikhail Suslov was). Another example, Stalin vacated hist post as general secretary in 1934, and was treated as first secretary (as in first-ranked).
The communist states did not have a civil service (at least how we define civil service), they had only bureaucracy. The gerontocracy which developed during the Brezhnev years happened because the Soviets (and the communists in general) did not understand institutions; the classical Marxist narrative gave little space to institutions and institution-building... For instance, Stalin since class struggle occurred under socialism (and would even increase during its early stage), institutions which safeguarded counter-revolutionaries (free-and-fair trails) could not be established if it went counter to the laws of history (institutions, in Soviet parlance simply called "laws", should always have the interest of the party in hand, since the party represented the class dictatorship). This idea developed under Lenin; law was means of repression, and law was supposed to be used by the state (the class dictatorship) to defend its own interests. Thats it... The institution-building which we see in China, Cuba, Laos and Vietnam today in areas such as the civil service, the rule by law el cetra have all been influenced/taken from the West. --TIAYN (talk) 21:15, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
But this seems to be an Asian thing. Its similar to ordering the number of CCs. No Eastern European Communist Party ever ordered the CC according to party congresses. Their was never a 5th CC in East Germany or a 23rd CC in the Soviet Union, but there was a 6th CC in North Korea (until they decided to stop holding party congresses), and is the case in Laos, Vietnam and China today. The ranking system seems too to be an Asian thing... The Cubans list the first and second secretary first (in Cuba the Second Secretary is a position which exists on paper, unlike its former Soviet counterpart) and the rest of the PB membership is listed in alphabetical order... In the USSR collective leadership meant in theory, that every leader PB member was equal (everyone of course knew that was not the case, but that was the ideal). .--TIAYN (talk) 21:15, 10 September 2015 (UTC)
Short answer; no (at least, not in the form as its practiced in China)

Sorry for the long answers, and sorry for the bad grammar (I'm tired). --TIAYN (talk) 21:15, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

I don't mind the long answers. What are your personal opinions about this 'ranking' feature of the Chinese system? Why is it necessary to do this, do you suppose? The politburo standing committee ranking is extremely strict protocol; all the news items on a given day have to follow this sequence; but what is perhaps even more surprising is that this rank order sequence convention stretches all the way down to the county level and even for the deputy heads at hospitals and schools! Colipon+(Talk) 12:23, 11 September 2015 (UTC)
@Colipon: I honestly can't tell you, however, I probably went too far. The Soviets did have a ranking system. But, as with much else, Western observers don't seem to be interested in the system in retrospect... For instance, see this... I also remembered incorrectly, Kosygin was no. 2 until 1971 (he was demoted to 1971 in response to conservative opposition to very, very light market reforms), and Podgorny took his place until 1977 when he was suddenly demoted and removed from the Politburo altogether. But here's the main difference I'd assume; Podgorny was simply removed, and very few historians dwell on its importance of P's ouster in retrospect (no one is interested in it in retrospect it seems), however if Xi would all of a sudden remove Li Keqiang the rumour mill would never stop... Of course, there are similarities. For instance, several sources say Wang Qishan is the real no. 2 in Chinese politics (Suslov was interchangeable no. 3–4, but always the real no. 2 in party organisation, serving as second secretary, in reality the top-ranked secretary since the general secretary rarely attended the meetings of the Secretariat).. I don't think there is such a big difference between the Soviet and the Chinese ranking system in theory... But there are some, for instance while the PB members were listed hierarchically at party congresses news bulletin would list it alphabetically with Brezhnev on top (this could never happen in China) and, more importantly, in China people can only sit for 10 years and have age limits. More importantly, the Soviet system was leader dominated (China is of course too), but in the CPSU Brezhnev (and his cronies) held separate meetings before the PB meetings to form a majority so that, for instance, Kosygin could not gain any backing for his reform initiatives—this explains why PB and Secretariat meetings only lasted for 30 minutes more or less... But of course, Kosygin was no. 2 1964–1969 (and on paper until 1971); the Glassboro Summit Conference is a perfect example, he visited the US before Brezhnev and met personally with the US president before Brezhnev... But Kosygin was never no. 2 within the party (but of course, that may also be the case for Li...) ... So while the ranking system was the same, it was, since Chinese politics is more formalised (and more importantly, there are term limits) the have different effects. But most importantly, in the Soviet Union the GenSec controlled personnel appointments by virtue of his position as GenSec and head of the Secretariat—in China, the GenSec is not a member of the Secretariat (this is power separation at its most basic, the same has been done in Laos and Vietnam, but not Cuba)... What Brezhnev did was no appoint new members to the Secretariat (he could by virtue as GenSec) and then somehow get these people into the PB (which he could on the basis of "circular flow of power"; e.g. that the GenSec had the power to appoint and dismiss provinical secretaries and the provincial secretaries decided de facto the delegates to the next party congress, adn the next party congress approved the GenSec's wishes).. What i'm trying to say is this; Soviet politics was more informalized, which explains why Kosygin as no. 3 was actively shielded from parts of the decision-making process by Brezhnev's clique who openly disagreed on his on matters regarding economic reform..) In China I doubt, but I don't know, that Xi's meets with three others before PSC meetings and then attends the meeting telling the other three members that the PSC has already reached a decision. The Chinese ranking system has more to do with reality. --TIAYN (talk) 22:20, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
Very interesting, thank you for the answer. The Chinese system is very interesting - at the national level, the chairs of the National People's Congress and the People's Consultative Conference (is this also a uniquely Chinese institution?) have also sat on the standing committee since 1992, though technically both of these positions are chiefly ceremonial in nature. It is notable that at the provincial level, People's Congress chairs are often one in the same as the party chief, and the local PCC chairman does not hold a seat on the provincial standing committee. Provincially standing committee members are supposedly ranked according to their date of entry into a provincial party standing committee, or if the date is the same, by the time at which they ascended to a sub-provincial level post. All deputy heads of departments or vice ministers are strictly ranked as well, partly based on their own experience, and partly based on the position they hold. Note that among Vice Premiers, Zhang Gaoli, by virtue of his PSC membership, is ranked first, while two-term Politburo member Liu Yandong is ranked second despite her portfolios being more 'junior' (sports, health, and so on). Wang Yang is also a one-term Politburo member with lower seniority than Liu, so he is ranked third, and Ma Kai is ranked last, since he entered the Politburo only in 2012. Colipon+(Talk) 16:49, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
The CPPCC is unique (I can't think of a similar institution; its strange that they don't formalise the institution.. I mean its formally an advisory body; if this is the case, why hasn't Jiang or Hu been appointed to it? Of course, the answer is obvious; they are too good for it. But I mean, the point of the CPPCC is to advise the leadership, and you would end or reduce the informalization of politics (and strengthen you're personal leadership) if you actual formalised it. Right? ... Interesting, very interesting... As for the FL review; I honestly can't find any information regarding individual CC plenums.. --TIAYN (talk) 22:03, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

Copy edit request for Vasily Anisimoff declined[edit]

I regret to inform you that your copy edit request for Vasily Anisimoff has been declined. See this conversation. – Jonesey95 (talk) 17:16, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

Alternative text on Star of David[edit]

Alternative text is meant only to tell a blind person what a sighted person would have seen. Since a sighted person would not see an explanation of the Star of David, a blind person does not need to be given one.

The other issue is that if the template appears 20 times on a page, the blind person will hear the alternate text 20 times. So if the alternate text had the long explanation, they would hear the explanation 20 times, which would be really annoying.

I'll add a documentation page to the Star of David template with a link to the Star of David Wikipedia page.

Thisisnotatest (talk) 21:10, 20 September 2015 (UTC)

I've set {{Star of David}} so the default is the short text, but that it can be overridden with other text, and I've used your text as the example for overriding. I've also overridden the alternate text with your text in the key symbol on Central Committee elected by the 16th Congress of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks). Finally, I'm looking for a way to automatically use the long form on first use on a page and the shorter version after that.

As for your question on the change log, other character symbols, such as {{double-dagger}} don't include a long description of the character, just the name of the character.

Thisisnotatest (talk) 21:51, 20 September 2015 (UTC)

@Thisisnotatest: OK. --TIAYN (talk) 22:01, 20 September 2015 (UTC)

== General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union You've gone beyond the 3RR rule, and I'll present that issue to the proper authorities about this issue. Urgup-tur (talk) 23:46, 22 September 2015 (UTC)