Politics Magazine

The Positive Legacy of the Former Eastern Bloc

Posted on the 26 March 2014 by Calvinthedog

SHIH writes:

But you must understand where I’m coming from. The version of socialism you espouse is more to do with welfare economics, free medical care, free education…I guess something similar to European Union socialism. You have to get my drift here, I’m talking about something totally different.

The worst elements of Communist USSR did considerable damage to satellite countries like Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Caucasus region and currently, Ukraine and Belarus. Let’s face it, it was a failed social experiment, no sane person could support Stalinism – not even Russians do it anymore. Fact remains that countries like Uzbekistan suffered worst excesses of experiments like Stalinism, forced relocation of people, internal passport controls and decades of isolation from the rest of the world.

The dictator of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, is a real tyrant who makes his own people work hard on construction projects and there’s massive corruption everywhere. It’s not a Communist government but the legacy of former USSR had a big role to play in the current mess.

I do not agree that any of those countries got damaged by Communism.

I do not agree that Uzbekistan is experiencing a current mess. I actually think they are doing pretty well. If you look around at other Central Asian Muslim states, they are all about the same as Uzbekistan or else they are worse.

I do know Karimov well, but I think that at heart he is still a Communist.

All 3rd World capitalist states are insanely corrupt, and yes, the CIS is corrupt also. It wasn’t very corrupt under the USSR, but after moving to capitalism, the CIS become incredibly corrupt. Knowing this, how is the current corruption caused by Communism?

What failed in the East Bloc was the lack of a market. All of these places have now put a market into place, but you would be surprised how much of the Communist system has been retained. Where much of the Communist system has been dismantled and privatized as in Russia, the results have been very bad. They would have been better off leaving it alone.

Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Caucasus region and currently, Ukraine and Belarus – all these places did pretty well under Communism. After 1990, the Russian economy collapsed. It took fully 20 years for the Russian economy to recover to its previous pre-Communist level. This was true for almost all of the other CIS republics too. For a very long time, they were doing better under Communism than under what followed.

Belarus retained most of their socialist mode of development and they were the only former USSR republic that did not collapse after Communism. The economy is still 80% socialist, and last I heard they are doing fantastic. Belarus is a great place to live. For 29 years after 1990, Belarus was the wealthiest former USSR republic. The sole reason for that was that they retained a socialist model.

Personally I think free market capitalism is a failed social experiment. We have a lot of evidence for that.

Uzbekistan and other places were not really hurt by forced migrations. What happened was that Stalin put people like Tatars and Germans in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The new immigrants were good for those countries.

Internal passport problems were not a big deal because USSR citizens traveled all over the USSR and they even traveled all over the Eastern Bloc. It is hard to say that the Eastern Bloc was isolated from the world. They were surely not isolated from themselves. They were isolated from the West, but that was also the fault of the West since the US and its allies blockaded and embargoed the entire Eastern Bloc from Day One.

In Russia and many former Soviet republics, majorities say they liked Communism and they often say that Communism was better than whatever bullshit they have now. Communism created a very high level of social development.

There were for all intents and purposes no slums, everyone had plenty of food to eat, the health figures were great, nice cities and towns were created with adequate housing everywhere. The water was clean and there was good sewage treatment. Good roads, rail networks and even passenger jet services were created. The USSR grew most of its own food, and the truth is that Soviets ate about as well as many West Europeans. Everyone had a job and there was no unemployment. There were no homeless or bums on the streets. The Stalin Era was pretty brutal but after that, things settled down a lot. Under Gorbachev, the USSR was a fairly free place, and there were not even many political prisoners anymore.

The USSR created one thing: a fantastic base for economic development. With a great base like that, you can implement a market and you can get high level of economic activity. The insanity of the 3rd World capitalist states is that they are trying to grow an economy without developing an adequate base beforehand. As you can see, that does not work.

In the US and even in Europe, austerity is all the rage. The purpose of austerity is to decapitate the state and what follows is the dismantling of the social and infrastructural base for economic development of a market economy. It makes no sense at all, but capitalists generally speaking make no sense and have zero sense of the long run. The capitalist is focused on short term profits only and he can’t see the forest for the trees. The capitalist retard is so stupid that the can’t see that that that nice market economy he is utilizing was grown from a seedbed of a social, societal and infrastructural base of development, and that this base was laid down by the state.

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