I've been listening to a podcast series called the "Russian Rulers History Podcast" and it has given me a better, more thorough, and more-informed course in Russian History than I'm sure any of the hacks posing as liberal arts colleges would. It has provided me a lot of understanding about communism, its origins, as well as the reason it came about in Russia. However, in this particular episode I am amazed to hear, out of Nikita Khrushchev own mouth, his opinions on communism and economics in Russia.
Not because he is basically admitting the economic policies of communism are failing his people.
And not because (unlike pretty much every previous leader of Russia) he dares to admit it.
But because of his complete naivety and cluelessness about economics.
I would have figured an ardent communist, a former leader of the USSR, when writing his memoirs would have a FULLY REHEARSED, SCRIPTED, and POLISHED explanation as to why there was no food, toilet paper or meat available to the Russian people (especially under his reign). But it is amazing the man who was once pounding his shoe, telling the "Imperialist Western Capitalist Pigs" he would bury us, admits his economic policies are failing.
The thing that really gets me though is how apparent it is he just doesn't get it. Here's a man in his 60's, maybe 70's, who went through the communist system his entire life, from the lowest ranked pledge in the youth communist party, to the premier of the Soviet Union, and if you ask him "why isn't there enough bread?" he has no answers.
He has great observations.
He has great explanations.
His logic about how people reaction and behave in an economy is sound.
But when it comes to solutions, all he can say is "I just don't get it."
Perhaps he was too brainwashed to realize how free markets and free people would have solved all the economic problems of the USSR. Perhaps after serving under Stalin coming up with new ideas was just not possible for his psyche. The point is largely (and tragically) moot since hundreds of millions either died, starved, were murdered, tortured, or at minimum suffered MUCH lesser lives than was necessary simply because the leaders of this idiotic economic religion just couldn't admit they were wrong.
Regardless, these precious words of Khrushchev, which make it painfully clear he was not only wrong, but had no clue what he was doing, is absolute mandatory listening for not just rightists, but especially leftists. Because if the god damned leader of the Soviet Union was so flimsy and weak on economics, then how much more weak and flimsy is your average spoiled brat liberal arts college student?
Seriously, it's like the pope admitting Catholicism is all wrong, yet your commoner Catholics, who never read the bible, would argue that it's still "all right."
Literally Everything to progressives is a social issue. They literally don't acknowledge that foreign policy or the economy even exists and NEVER talk about it.
And This explains why.
That'll never happen here because we have an economic Einstein leading us in Canada. Yessir, our little Bunnykins of a Prime Minister is brilliant.
Here's an example: "the budget will balance itself".
Wow! You're surprised by the profundity of that statement, eh? I mean, what tops that for absolute depth? Just like Marshall McLuhan, eh? Remember his famous comment..."The mediocrity is the message".
If only ANY Western "leader" was so honest.
Or if only ANY of their enabling Praetorian Guard had any honor.
Or maybe they should listen to Yeltsin -- http://blog.chron.com/thetexican/2014/04/when-boris-yeltsin-went-grocery-shopping-in-clear-lake/
My old man used to live in Los Angeles and told me a story about the time Khrushchev visited the US. Khrushchev desperately wanted to visit Disneyland while he was in Southern California. True story. Ruthless commie dictator wanted to see Disneyland. Back in those days, American men had a spine and told the commie to fuck off. They weren't going to allow that piece of shit to stink up Disneyland. It was for the children, not rotten communists dictators. Needless to say, Khrushchev was not allowed to go near Disneyland.
Now of course the realist in me understands that Khrushchev didn't go to Disneyland due to massive logistical and security concerns, but the point remains. He didn't go there. How things have changed. These days I'm sure Obama would close down the 405 freeway for Charles Manson.
That Russian Rulers blog has become required listening for me. If you could link more such resources, I'll bookmark them.
If you read the Iceland Reagan/Gorbachev transcripts you can see the same thing. Gorbachev has no idea how the real world works or why the US is able to produce and have the quality of life it does. Reagan understood and tried to explain but Gorbachev had no reference point. Nothing to relate to. It (economics) was a complete mystery to him.
The sad thing is - what other US presidents would understand and be able to explain why things worked and didn't work?
communism,socialism, whatever you want to call it, has never been about economics. How could it be after failing 100% of the time, seriously 100% is a very rare number in nature. Yet this fails every single time.
No, communism is always about power, and the inability of lesser men to earn or create the material wealth that they see , and covet, better men than they will ever be accumulate and create. When a great man produces or betters a good or service that a free people are willing to pay for, this creates wealth for the more than just himself. It creates wealth for a society.
sorry for caps Cappy.
There's a fascinating book by a guy who was deputy director of a Soviet factory during the Stalin era. What Khrushchev saw rather confusedly at the strategic level, this guy saw very clearly at the operational level.
Take off show bang it on the podium then insert into mouth all liberals almost always stick their foot into their mouth
I subscribed to the podcast. Thanks Cappy!
For anyone interested, "K Blows Top" is a fun and easy book about Khrushchev and his visit to the States. $1.54 on Amazon!
This is pretty much the problem with any system based on ideology instead of real world observation and analysis. People become so obsessed with their own ideas that they can't see what's happening right in front of them.
I actually think you could say the same thing about the "free market is the answer to everything" crowd though. The last time there was a real laissez faire government existed in the US was the late 1800s and if you look at society then it wasn't much better than the Soviet Union. ~90% of people lived a menial existence that they had no real avenue of escape from and industry ended up being consolidated into monopolies and cartels that actually destroyed the free market that created them.
It's the same basic issue as the Soviet system. Reality is always more complicated than theory and in practice never works out like it does in a textsbook. Communist theory ignores how inefficient large organisations are and how people are motivated by profit. Classical economics ignores that people aren't perfectly rational actors as well as the massive multiplier effect of capital.
(I get this comment is a bit against the grain and might end up being deleted, but its an interesting thought anyway)
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it"
Yes it's an Upon Sinclair quote but he got it right with that one.
I recommend "Life in Russia" by Michael Binyon for getting a feel of what daily life was like in the Soviet Union. It reads like a comedy at times until you stop and realize the hugely negative effect in had on millions of lives. Should be required reading before anyone can cast a vote for Bernie.
My wife was Born in 74' and grew up in Moscow. Spent alot of time waiting in lines for basic food stuffs and they sometimes simply ran out before it was your turn at the counter. My mother-in-law once waited 6 hours in line to buy a the luxury item-- a cheap bra made in Yugoslavia. Polish acquintances told me of having to get a certificate in order to by shoes and you dropped everything and ran to the store once they finally got a shipment in.
It was worse they any western leftist would ever admit if they could acknowledge it--- they won't of course. Cult members rarely leave the cave.
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