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#15150746
late wrote:Economics had a lot to do with it. Western analysts did not predict the fall of the USSR. Because of that, they are still arguing why it fell.

And because of that, we've gone into great depth as to why it happened. I didn't find the article I was looking for. The one I did find is fine, but long. Just jump over the first part where they talk about getting it wrong.

The important bit is the economic analysis that shows how a gradual decline in a number of areas made the economy vulnerable to a shock. When oil prices collapsed, the economy started collapsing with it. America had had an economic collapse earlier; back in the Great Depression. It happens.

"The basic assumption here was that the absence of a market, or at least of market-like mechanisms, lay at the heart of the productivity problem; it followed that a solution would depend on economic decentralization. But would the Soviets be able make the transition?

The interesting thing here is that the Soviets analyzed the problem in much the same way U.S. economists did. The academician V.S. Nemchinov, most notably, had argued as early as 1964 that a far-reaching liberalization of the economy was needed if the productivity problem was to be solved — and indeed if the whole economic system was not to break down."


https://tnsr.org/2018/02/assessing-soviet-economic-performance-cold-war/

I guess I’m a westerner who in spite kf the long economic stagnation don’t see it leading to the collapse of the USSR and many economic difficulties haven’t in themselves lead to the dissolution of countries so why the USSR? Often get a vague state socialism was just so bad at that time. But not as if it hadn’t been chugging along for decades prior.

I’m of the view that a lot of the factors that made it possible to dissolve the USSR were largely precipitated by the actions (and lack of them) and policies of Gorbachev.
Glasnot put the issue of nationalism and secession in view, political liberalization made the rise of opposition to the communist party possible as dod his dismantling of the party and his own power. His economic reforms itself can be considered to destabilize an economic system by turning it into an economy in significant transition (which I’ll add didn’t stop the stagnation for years to come either despite points of needing to liberalize the economy). His reforms made it possible for the nomenklatura to even allow the USSR to be dissolve, and he pissed off the hardliners who didn’t support him and instead attempted a coup which failed because of Yeltsins supporters in Moscow and of course Gorbachevs reluctance to be as brutal in putting down or opposing resistance which was not shared by Yeltsin who was all too willing in his pursuit of person power and wealth and secured support from the nomenklatura in offering them private ownership of state assets as he secured himself as President.

No, the economic problem seems minor to a lot of other things that made it a perfect storm. Yeltsin took power in the USSR with the support of sections of the nomenklatura and at a time in which the hardliners/military generals were already put down after their coup attempt so no one was to stop him. In fact, even after a lot of the problems that arose by the end of 1991, the USSR still existed.

It ultimately was only after all this, which I largely claim is precipitated by Gorbachev, that it was possible for Yeltsin to dissolve the USSR.
Gorbachev was a percuilarity in being a communist party member who seemed much more like a western social democrat in the end and to the hardliners a traitor to socialism in his liberalization and all sorts of concessions to making markets at the expense of workers. He seems crudely idealistic if seen as a sincere believer in trying to create socialism with a human face.

I don't see the political actions as inevitable and even the examination of the economy can be speculative and dubious at times as to how important it was even when placing Gorbachevs reforms as a reaction to the economy.
So I have no point to argue about how bad the oil crisis and other economic policies were for the USSR other than I've not seen the necessity of the USSR dissolving from it except as an ideological cold ear point against centralized state socialism. Part of the winning of the Cold war shtick.

Even if I accept the criticism of the economy, I can still speculate the USSar might have survived if it was focused on exnomix reform alone and not along with political liberalization which allowed opportunists and opposition to get out of control. Seems the double whammy was to make things far more destabilizing they then perhaps might have been.
In fact, seems to be a wise point that such changes in the economy require a rule of law and a developing economy or nation have often succeeded off the back of dictators. See a few examples in the history of Asia even in cases with what are taken to be prime examples of capitalist economies today.
#15150753
Wellsy wrote:
I guess I’m a westerner who in spite kf the long economic stagnation don’t see it leading to the collapse of the USSR and many economic difficulties haven’t in themselves lead to the dissolution of countries so why the USSR? Often get a vague state socialism was just so bad at that time. But not as if it hadn’t been chugging along for decades prior.

I’m of the view that a lot of the factors that made it possible to dissolve the USSR were largely precipitated by the actions (and lack of them) and policies of Gorbachev.
Glasnot put the issue of nationalism and secession in view, political liberalization made the rise of opposition to the communist party possible as dod his dismantling of the party and his own power. His economic reforms itself can be considered to destabilize an economic system by turning it into an economy in significant transition (which I’ll add didn’t stop the stagnation for years to come either despite points of needing to liberalize the economy). His reforms made it possible for the nomenklatura to even allow the USSR to be dissolve, and he pissed off the hardliners who didn’t support him and instead attempted a coup which failed because of Yeltsins supporters in Moscow and of course Gorbachevs reluctance to be as brutal in putting down or opposing resistance which was not shared by Yeltsin who was all too willing in his pursuit of person power and wealth and secured support from the nomenklatura in offering them private ownership of state assets as he secured himself as President.

No, the economic problem seems minor to a lot of other things that made it a perfect storm. Yeltsin took power in the USSR with the support of sections of the nomenklatura and at a time in which the hardliners/military generals were already put down after their coup attempt so no one was to stop him. In fact, even after a lot of the problems that arose by the end of 1991, the USSR still existed.

It ultimately was only after all this, which I largely claim is precipitated by Gorbachev, that it was possible for Yeltsin to dissolve the USSR.
Gorbachev was a percuilarity in being a communist party member who seemed much more like a western social democrat in the end and to the hardliners a traitor to socialism in his liberalization and all sorts of concessions to making markets at the expense of workers. He seems crudely idealistic if seen as a sincere believer in trying to create socialism with a human face.

I don't see the political actions as inevitable and even the examination of the economy can be speculative and dubious at times as to how important it was even when placing Gorbachevs reforms as a reaction to the economy.
So I have no point to argue about how bad the oil crisis and other economic policies were for the USSR other than I've not seen the necessity of the USSR dissolving from it except as an ideological cold ear point against centralized state socialism. Part of the winning of the Cold war shtick.



You didn't read the article. Russian leadership knew this was coming for a long time.

I also doubt you have a good idea of what life in Russia was like back then. The ruble was a nonconvertible currency. That means no one could use the ruble to buy anything outside the country. So how did they get Western goods? Barter. They traded oil, caviar, diamonds, etc for things like Pepsi and computers. It was a bizarre way to live. But it doesn't end there, they had a huge underground economy. If you saw something good that you didn't need, you would buy it. The underground economy had a lot of barter. So you would try to find someone that needed what you had, but also something you wanted. Which is highly inefficient.

The other article I was looking for was more academic, and goes into great detail about how the agriculture sector took a beating. They wound up importing food, which also meant they were spending dollars they didn't used to have to spend. They had very little foreign currency, and great need for it to buy things they needed badly like computers.
#15150773
late wrote:
Spoiler: show
You didn't read the article. Russian leadership knew this was coming for a long time.

I also doubt you have a good idea of what life in Russia was like back then. The ruble was a nonconvertible currency. That means no one could use the ruble to buy anything outside the country. So how did they get Western goods? Barter. They traded oil, caviar, diamonds, etc for things like Pepsi and computers. It was a bizarre way to live. But it doesn't end there, they had a huge underground economy. If you saw something good that you didn't need, you would buy it. The underground economy had a lot of barter. So you would try to find someone that needed what you had, but also something you wanted. Which is highly inefficient.

The other article I was looking for was more academic, and goes into great detail about how the agriculture sector took a beating. They wound up importing food, which also meant they were spending dollars they didn't used to have to spend. They had very little foreign currency, and great need for it to buy things they needed badly like computers.
]

Not at length, no I did not read the entirety of the piece as I have just woken up and gave it a glance and don't think it gives as firm an answer as you seem to think it does.
There is great detail on the economic problems which are underestimated by the west.
While the Soviet leadership was clearly concerned with the state of the economy, this in itself does not make a point about the collapse of the USSR as inevitably due to it.

SO when you say "Russian leadership knew this was coming for a long time.", you speak vaguely.
It makes it sound like they saw the inevitable collapse of the USSR, when more specifically they foresaw problems if they didn't intervene in the economy.
The article itself is quite cautious and subtle in such a point.
Did the Soviet leadership understand that it would have to deal with some very serious problems? It is often said that only at the very end of the Brezhnev period in the early 1980s did the leadership come to see how serious the problem was and that before that point it had the sense that things were going pretty well. In reality, Soviet leaders had long been aware that their economy was in trouble. “The top echelons of the Soviet leadership,” according to two scholars who have studied this issue, “had been getting confidential reports critical of the economy’s performance since at least the 1960s.”118 Another scholar refers to an important 1968 report laying out the problems; it had been prepared, at Prime Minister Alexei Kosygin’s request, by the economic section of the Soviet Academy of Sciences.119 Brezhnev himself discussed the situation at some length in Central Committee plenums in 1972 and 1973. Chernyaev, who gives an account of both speeches in his diary, came away from the 1973 discussion with “a gnawing feeling about the lack of prospects.” It was not that economic collapse was imminent; indeed, the assumption was that the system would probably endure. But the outlook was fairly dismal and it seemed that, given the existing structure, not much could be done. “Have we formed,” Chernyaev wondered, “some kind of inert, bureaucratic, ossified force of hopeless indifference (following the principle — just to survive a few more years), a force that will swallow anyone who tries something new?”120

And my point is speculation that the USSR's collapse wasn't an inevitability of economic problems as much as it was Gorbachev's simultaneous policies which increasingly destabilized the USSR and made quite possible it's fragmentation. That the situation ended up analogous to the US breaking down into it's states or the prior confederacy and all sorts of relations of trade and such between the countries suddenly become obsolete. The state of Texas isn't going to pay the mail delivery from another state which was previously in the purview of the federal government.

And the rest of your post is to continue on how dire the circumstances of the USSR economy but not really an explicit point of how this relates to its dissolution. That is instead left implicit and that's what I find inherently unsatisfactory. TO describe how shit things were is insufficient to show how it leads to the collapse.
Otherwise my immediate thought is why have other countries under extreme economic crises not also collapsed? There are many boom-bust cycles for many countries that haven't dissolved their current political systems.

So such facts as you've stated are left abstract and isolated from a theoretical explanation and are just that, facts tied to nothing. This is a lower state of a concept as it's still too raw and underdeveloped.

I think your focus isn't so much upon your earlier claim "What killed the USSR was an economic collapse. It literally stopped working." as much as it is to depict the failings of the centralized command economy.
But one could look to the Chinese examples where they enacted economic reforms in a different manner and didn't lose their in a similar fashion but instead an increasing challenge to western/US hegemony.
The idea being that reforms can be made economically without having the USSR dissolved into single nation-states and the alternative of a slightly different federation was quite feasible/possible.
#15150775
Wellsy wrote:

Otherwise my immediate thought is why have other countries under extreme economic crises not also collapsed?


But one could look to the Chinese examples where they enacted economic reforms in a different manner and didn't lose



Some of them did collapse, like the Weimar Republic before WW2, or the French Revolution.

You are indulging in a lot of wishful thinking.

Btw, China did the reforms Russia didn't. Which is why their economy grew while Russia stagnated.
#15150782
late wrote:Some of them did collapse, like the Weimar Republic before WW2, or the French Revolution.

You are indulging in a lot of wishful thinking.

Btw, China did the reforms Russia didn't. Which is why their economy grew while Russia stagnated.

My claim isn't so strong that they can't collapse because of the economy but that many countries go through economkc crises without collapsing all the time so you then have to elaborate further on the conditions of collapse. To which I agree that China did reforms much more successfully than the Russians which is part of my point that economic reforms could have happened without the toppling of the USSR into independent nation states.
A federation was still possible.
It wouldn't have been the same state socialist USSR but it wouldn't have been Russia alone. Gorbachev clearly sought a mixed economy but likely to rapidly and shot himself in the foot with his political reforms if he wanted to reform the economy but not give opportunity to Yeltsin and his ilk.

So if you think I'm simply trying to defend the particular economic system of the USSR you have misunderstood me, where as I think your concern primarily with the economy makes little explanation of the USSR collapse except for westerners who simply want to argue that the USSR failed because socialism or whatever. Which is nice ideologically for western liberals but is inadequate.

History is made by people, not in the circumstances of their choosing yet people still are the agents of history. And while the circumstances influence peoples decisions/actions, they do not in a sense directly cause their actions. History could have been otherwise for the USSR even if we accept the crisis of the economy.
This being more a point about how one views history.

Guess I'm saying the economic situation was a insufficient condition to cause the collapse although it was a factor in precipitating it. It can't be said to have caused the collapse but the collapse likely wouldn't have been possible without it.
#15150792
Wellsy wrote:
My claim isn't so strong that they can't collapse because of the economy but that many countries go through economic crises without collapsing all the time so you then have to elaborate further on the conditions of collapse.

So if you think I'm simply trying to defend the particular economic system of the USSR you have misunderstood me, where as I think your concern primarily with the economy makes little explanation of the USSR collapse except for westerners who simply want to argue that the USSR failed because socialism or whatever. Which is nice ideologically for western liberals but is inadequate.

History is made by people, not in the circumstances of their choosing yet people still are the agents of history. And while the circumstances influence peoples decisions/actions, they do not in a sense directly cause their actions. History could have been otherwise for the USSR even if we accept the crisis of the economy.
This being more a point about how one views history.



You didn't read an article, and now you're asking for economic texts? Try googling things like 'why do economies collapse'. I can provide you with a list of books to read, but we would be starting with the basics. Start with 'Cities and the Wealth of Nations' by Jane Jacobs.

I didn't say socialism. They had a command economy, and it couldn't adapt.

Sure, people are 'agents of history'. As is the economy, the weather, and a hundred other things. Or do you think you could have ignored the volcanic eruption at Pompeii?

Like I said, wishful thinking.
#15150793
Wellsy wrote:And my point is speculation that the USSR's collapse wasn't an inevitability of economic problems as much as it was Gorbachev's simultaneous policies which increasingly destabilized the USSR and made quite possible it's fragmentation.


Gobarchev wasn't willing to keep the whole thing together by force. The Soviet economy was a disaster. I was in Eastern Europe in the 90s, it felt like traveling back in time. The access to Western medicine and medical technology probably explains the surge in life expectancy.
#15150799
late wrote:You didn't read an article, and now you're asking for economic texts? Try googling things like 'why do economies collapse'. I can provide you with a list of books to read, but we would be starting with the basics. Start with 'Cities and the Wealth of Nations' by Jane Jacobs.

I didn't say socialism. They had a command economy, and it couldn't adapt.

Sure, people are 'agents of history'. As is the economy, the weather, and a hundred other things. Or do you think you could have ignored the volcanic eruption at Pompeii?

Like I said, wishful thinking.

I get it, you've read a lot of things, that's good and all but all I've pressed you on is to make an case for your point and your retort seems to be read this and left implied is it'll answer for you. The provided article goes into great detail about the economic circumstances but doesn't dive into how this caused as collapse, it at best only leaves it at precipitating it and hence why I've made further points why I think as much is insufficient.

Facts and a description of them alone does not explain anything without properly connecting them together. It seems the discussion is over before it begun.
Usually for brevity, even on here where posts can get quite long one draws from a text for it's critical points. I understand if this is a bother but without as much, you've made an assertion and done little else than provided description of the poor economic situation. But how one gets from there to Yelstin et Al. Seems superfluous to you. I can describe the brain in great detail and it's relationship to mind but this doesn't provide an explanation of how consciousness originates. The possibility of something is distinct from the actuality. The shift from one to the other requires explanation above just description. Otherwise the facts have no connection to one another and no casual sense.

Which is fine if you don't want to go down that rabbit hole at great length but you're at the same point you began of expressing you.

You may have a great explanation but it isn't presented here, so you might also have no explanation. I was curious to learn from your thoughts as to why you see the economy as the decisive factor or cause. Because I find the intentionally account of the political actors at the same quite compelling as to why the USSR's collapse wasn't as inevitable as some might think.
#15150814
Julian658 wrote:That is quite true and in the end is part of our human condition. We evolved as selfish creatures and altruism only developed when there was an evolutionary advantage.

The quote you respond to here - was my note about how fake our faith in government and our community is RIGHT NOW.

Jean Baudrillard (and other post-modernists) take note of the increasing fakeness of society. And how fatal this will be.

So that people always feel like they're just *going through the motions* (faking it) of what it means to be human - or to be alive even... is very alienating.

And this is what I was talking about in the quote you misrepresented (used in a fake way). You even made it into a left-versus-right comment, which it isn't at all. It's a fake-versus-real comment, with us right now being heavily on the *FAKE* side of the axis. "We are critically fake now, and this will defenitely cause harm" is what I am saying.

This thread talks about "the failure of communist medicine" just a few months after communist Cuba sent doctors to Kuwait.

The fakeness of both the "urgency" and "message" of the OP title (The devastating failure of communism)... is what makes it *of our day and age.*
#15150821
QatzelOk wrote:The quote you respond to here - was my note about how fake our faith in government and our community is RIGHT NOW.

Jean Baudrillard (and other post-modernists) take note of the increasing fakeness of society. And how fatal this will be.

So that people always feel like they're just *going through the motions* (faking it) of what it means to be human - or to be alive even... is very alienating.

And this is what I was talking about in the quote you misrepresented (used in a fake way). You even made it into a left-versus-right comment, which it isn't at all. It's a fake-versus-real comment, with us right now being heavily on the *FAKE* side of the axis. "We are critically fake now, and this will defenitely cause harm" is what I am saying.

This thread talks about "the failure of communist medicine" just a few months after communist Cuba sent doctors to Kuwait.

The fakeness of both the "urgency" and "message" of the OP title (The devastating failure of communism)... is what makes it *of our day and age.*


I agree with your post! :D
I also want to add that PC culture is also fake and all about virtue signaling. Zizek, a world renown communist whom I actually like quite a bit speaks about this all the time.
#15151101
Julian658 wrote:I agree with your post! :D
I also want to add that PC culture is also fake and all about virtue signaling. Zizek, a world renown communist whom I actually like quite a bit speaks about this all the time.

The problem I have with Zizek (and Baudrillard a bit) is that they speak in coded ways in order to repackage their communist message in a way that is novel (marketable) and mass-media-lobotomy-friendly (increased sales).

Their styles are, at times, the very opposite of clarity and the search for universal comprehension.

I understand how the contraints of our age limit(ed) our philosophers to what they can actually say (and still be famous), but their coded messages represent a missed opportunity to share what should be a universal message.

Instead, Zizek (and Baudrillard) are encoding their message so that only the upper middle-class will ever understand it or have time for it. And that is very limiting in terms of praxis. The middle-class are aspirational and don't represent any real threat to the current social order.
#15151176
Economic crisis , in and of itself ,is not enough to effect systemic collapse . For example , around the same time as the events described in the USSR , the United States was going through its own stagflation , yet in spite of everything it still has not yet experienced societal collapse .
I think that the important thing is to critically analyze the material conditions , and find out the strengths and weaknesses . This is what Vietnam has done , with its Doi Moi reforms , and it is still going strong .
#15153054
Tyler Durden wrote:Leon Black Steps Down As Apollo CEO
After Review Finds He Paid Jeffrey Epstein $158 Million


Image

Leon Black will step down as CEO of Apollo Global Management, the giant private equity company he founded in 1990 and built into a $433 billion financial powerhouse that has become a big lender to corporate America. The announcement came as Apollo revealed the conclusion of a review by law firm Dechert into Black’s relationship with the late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, which reportedly "cleared" Black and Apollo of any "involvement in criminal activities" with Epstein. ...


Here we see the kind of powerful private equity manager that communism fails to produce. Notice how he also became "a big lender to corporate America" with lots of influence to spread around.

And it's all centered on extortion and prostitution. These are things that countries like Cuba carelessly "threw away" in order to introduce entitlement programs like "food security and housing."

Notice how capitalist media correctly labels Epstein "a pedophile" and not "a pimp." This suggests that, if the prostitutes had been of legal age, Epstein would have been "doing nothing wrong."

In our capitalist countries, it's totally okay to use sexual favors in order to bribe our politicians into bombing countries or cutting taxes for billionaires.

Communism has failed at these things.

Devastatingly. :lol:
#15153057
QatzelOk wrote:
Communism has failed at these things.



Mao took a lot of young girls to bed.

Communist countries weren't actually communist, that's just a label people use. We don't have the sophistication needed to do such a thing.

Just as capitalism replaced mercantilism, something will one day come along and replace capitalism. Hopefully it will be something better, and not simply a reversion to medieval chaos.
#15153062
Deutschmania wrote:Economic crisis , in and of itself ,is not enough to effect systemic collapse .
...
I think that the important thing is to critically analyze the material conditions , and find out the strengths and weaknesses . This is what Vietnam has done , with its Doi Moi reforms , and it is still going strong .

I like the Vietnma example as it was a country destroyed by war yet still remained as a country as opposed to collapsed. And thinking to the USSR, itself was born out of a civil war and went into the world war and persisted.
So economic devastation even brought on a war doesn't suffice to cause the collapse of a nation and there is little more devastating.
#15153065
late wrote:Hopefully it will be something better, and not simply a reversion to medieval chaos.

Biden says the USA will try to become "carbon neutral" by 2050.

What's the timeline for "evolving to something better" in capitalist countries which seem to be collapsing right now?

By 2450, will we have something new to try on?

Go, capitalism, go?
#15153073
Rancid wrote:You don't want the US to become Carbon neutral?


That is correct. Exterminating 90% of humanity is a far more potent solution according to Qatz.
#15153165
Rancid wrote:You don't want the US to become Carbon neutral?

Yes, but "by 2050" means that Joe Biden doesn't really care either way.

That you didn't understand this is a result of the devastating failure of capitalist education.
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