Similarly, it's mentioned in the UoB lore that they arrested former Conservative party members, and caused "many deaths through overzealous aggression and poor quality prison camps" (source: Kaiserreich wiki). It's also mentioned that candidates have to approved by the ministry of information before you can vote for them, so yay for democracy, I guess? Then there's also the lore saying that they're under heavy rationing, but again, none of this has any effect in game. There's no resentment about not being able to vote for whomever you choose, no repercussions from said overzealous aggression and poor quality prison camps, no effects from rationing, nothing. The only way you know about this kind of stuff is if you read it on the wiki.
IIRC the UoB's rework explicitly deals with this and is turning the food overleveraged island into a relatively shitier place to live at game start amongst other awesome updates.All this talk of 'is violence justified to advance the revolution' is genuinely just neocon shit. The fact is that France fairly consistently starts the Second Weltkrieg by demanding territory that has been German for 70 years. It would be one thing if the war starts with a crisis like WWI, but that's not what happens. France demands German territory in a way specifically designed to invoke Nazi Germany. That is what makes even a democratic Internationale morally grey. They are far more willing than the Reichspakt to launch wars of aggression to get what they want. In the vast majority of games they start the equivalent of WWII to spread their ideology, and no matter how wholesome 100 Keanu chungus that ideology might be it will still involve war and political repression.
I also find the suggestion that a democratic Internationale would not commit atrocities to be frankly naive. OTL liberal democracies have some horrible atrocities under their belt- the US in Vietnam, the entirety of the British Empire, France in Algeria. Democracy in a Capitalist context is not a silver bullet against atrocities, and I don't think it would be any moreso in a Syndicalist context. I don't think the Syndies would institute purges or mass collectivization, but at the first hint of popular resistance to their glorious wars of liberation I think you'd absolutely see War in the Vendee 2: this time with industrial technology boogaloo. I can absolutely see France and Britain even under Syndicalists falling into de-facto imperialism- it would just be justified by spreading the Revolution, in the same way US imperialism today is justified by spreading democracy. Honestly this is a big thing I'm hoping for from a coming Internationale rework- making these countries more nuanced than 'here are the Totalists, who are bad and Stalinist, and here are the other factions, who are good'.