A Look at the "Failed Socialist States"

A very rightwing Russian in the comments suggests that Communism and socialism has failed everywhere:

Robert, as a “right wing Russian” Im very curious on your on the fall of the USSR. it was socialist to the bone (my birth certificate even has a nice little hammer and sickle on it, I’m sure you’d love it) yet it fell apart. Also, why do Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea suck? Shouldn’t they on your list?

The list is of the top 13 richest countries on Earth. 12 of the 13 are socialist states (welfare states). The three countries you list are not in the top 13 wealthiest countries. Look at Russia now. A shithole or what? They were better off under Communism. The transition to capitalism killed a good 15 million people and life expectancy collapsed. I think it has just now recovered, 20 years later. I’m not wild about pure Communism. It’s got a ton of problems. But I think Russia has gone too far to the right now. Nevertheless, Russia is a still a socialist country. Russia has a gigantic state sector in the economy. It still has a very extensive safety net if I am not mistaken. Maternal mortality and infant mortality is very low in all of the CIS. If you compare the CIS to places with similar incomes, housing and health care is excellent. Moldavia is a very poor country, very poor. Yet their health figures are superb, there’s no hunger, the cities look nice and modern, education is first world. It’s similar in all of the former states of the USSR. All of the former USSR are still socialist states with a big state sector, vast safety nets, good housing and health care, excellent health and education figures. All of these great things are a legacy of the USSR. The Russian government is following a state capitalism similar to the Chinese. It’s not neoliberal capitalism at all. It’s a kind of socialism, certainly it’s socialism according to the Republican Party – Tea Party – Glen Beck sense of the word. The Russian state spends huge amounts of money on roads, broadband, all sorts of public works. Even cities spend lots of money on things like public baths. All of the former USSR rejects the neoliberal model if I’m not mistaken. Those who went for it the most have eaten shit the worst. Latvia went neoliberal-wild and their economy has been totally creamed, with a Depression as deep as the US Depression in the 1930’s. Venezuela is doing great! Compared to the rest of Latin America. Things have improved dramatically since Chavez took power. The people love him. That’s why he always wins. Cuba doesn’t suck either. Cubans have the best housing, health care and education in the region. There’s no unemployment. There are no homeless. If you go into the rural areas, you will see something you will not see in any other Latin American country, healthy, happy, clean, well-fed children wearing nice clean uniforms. There are no kids on the streets sniffing glue and dressed in rags, starving with no shoes. There are no shantytowns in Cuba. None, zero. Nearly all homes have electricity and plumbing. No other state in Latin America has achieved any of these things. Cubans are some of the best fed people in the region. The malnutrition rate is North Korea sucks, but I doubt if it’s their fault. With the fall of the USSR, the price of oil went up 10X and everything collapsed. I’m convinced that they are trying to do everything they can to feed their people and get the country going again, but it’s an uphill battle, plus we threaten them. Before 1990, North Korea was doing great. I actually support a mixed economy versus pure Communism.

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29 thoughts on “A Look at the "Failed Socialist States"”

  1. well, i actually support a mixed economy as well. im not in favor of da free marketz ruling everything. however, i think capitalism has alot of pros. im only 19, so i never experienced soviet russia. however, i spoke to my immediate family members and from what they tell me, the stuff you said about education and health care, is true. but there was no economic or political freedom. most of my family is pretty poor, but recieved an education. i think a safety net is OK, to a certain point. but i think state socialism is horrible. the government cannot grow the economy, only private businesses can. thats where capitalism comes in. basically, a society should reap the benefits that comes with capitalsim, yet reigning in its excesses and provide a decent standard of living to all people. but you know, you never really answered me as to why the US, an anti-socialist nation, has emerged as the world superpower thats dominant in culture, economics, military, and standard of living. its not perfect, but its better than alot of other places. so maybe socialism isnt necessary at all.

    1. The US emerged as a super power through a bit of luck, and has been holding on by the threads since. I admit that I don’t have much knowledge on the subject, but I would have to say they are on there because they weren’t as decimated by the 2 world wars, as much of the continent on which many contenders for world power sit.
      The US profited from the wars for the most part, and had to do little rebuilding within their own country, which has temporarily put them ahead on the world stage.

      1. This is also to Jknep. I don’t care if this is 1,2,3,4,5, or 6 years after the original post, the stupidity has to be exposed. The United states became a world power because #1. Natural resources #2. Well defined rule of law #3. An adequate education system #4. a free market economy that facilitated the growth of a middle class……. and #532. a little bit of luck.
        haha you don’t explain Macro historical, economic, political, scientific, or artistic trends with “luck” no matter how edgy it sounds. it denies the point of history, you would be-clown yourself in an academic setting with that explanation.
        I hate to jump you bc I don’t think you were necessarily endorsing Marxism but the are many in the political climate today who do, this is to them not necessarily you-
        Historically, if you can’t see the formula: “Free markets+ rule of law+ education + fiscal responsibility + resources= sustainable success” then you may be blind. On the same token, if you cant see this trend “Over-reaching gov. —> anemic economic development—> increased dependence on the state—> non-disc. budget baloon-ing—> eventual devaluation of currency—> massive decreases in quality of life.” Then you are just as blind. Not to mention the rather disturbing historical correlation between Marxism and social-upheaval/mass murder/starvation/fascism. Is that also just coincidence or just “a little bit of [bad] luck”? No ‘Evil Corp.’ ever intentionally starved 40million political dissenters (Mao); and despite all of the sorry stuff that Corporations do to people, they have never murder 12 million in the sake of a “National (Socialist) Community” (Hitler). And Jknep, McCarthy never murdered 20million people; unlike the one who his opponents extolled (Stalin).
        For an example closer to home, why don’t you compare the recent job growth rates and budget deficits in social-democrat states vs free market states (TX, OK, SC).

      2. The Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Program, ERP) was an American initiative to aid Europe, in which the United States gave $13 billion (approximately $130 billion in current dollar value as of August 2015) in economic support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II.

  2. Venezuela is certainly not better than much of Latin America. Russia is probably better off now than it was with communism. The Soviet Union killed way more people than recent alcoholism. I see no reason to romanticize the USSR whatsoever; it was infernal. The nuclear meltdown alone may have killed 1 million people.

  3. You have got to be kidding me with this foolishness. Talk about misinformation and propaganda. Maybe there is more of Jim Jones koolaid around.

  4. It sounds as if those of you promoting socialism and communism have not actually experienced the degradation and lower quality of life the general population lives under in those oppressed countries. The corruption generated by those willing to prey upon the poorest in those societies ensure the status quo. The United States is only diminishing because of the resident Socialists and Communists influence on our government and the ignorance of the general population relative to what is going on. Not because our capitalistic Republic is a failed concept.

  5. This Comment is completely true the U.S.’s wealth was made mostly by luck and the only reasons we hang onto capitalism are McCarthyism and the people’s hope that they might be one of the rich someday.

  6. I live in a community with a very heavy Eastern European, Russian, Ukranian immigrant population. I hear the same words every day, “We came to this country and embraced it. We loved it. The US was precious to us. We now are saddened. We’ve seen this before. We are sad for the US, and sad for us. History has proven this…this ends badly.” To live under the oppression of the state in a socialist republic is fine, I suppose, if one aspires to survival and not much else. If one tends to live and thrive amongst the lowest common denominator, then socialism is the way to go. There is more support for such things there. This country, however, was built upon the dreams, desires and ideals of those who are willing to work harder that the next guy..who are willing to sacrifice and fight for that which provides more liberty, more choice, more opportunity. Notice, that the “systems” that the current democratic party embraces to not apply to those at the top of the ladder…those who would be our rulers…they have already planned to be exempt from such things. If socialism is so wonderful, shouldn’t it apply to Barack Obama … to all of Congress? To Everyone?
    I don’t think that’s the plan. Socialism in practice is no different from the greed of capitalism in practice. Only the “ideology espoused” differs. Underneath, the same rules apply. The privileged rule, the masses suffer. Only with socialism, the masses lose their liberties and voice as well.

  7. This is ridicoulous! Cuba and Venezuela are doing great! When in the 50’s?? maybe 70’s for Venezuela? have you even been to one of the 2 countries? Have you visited Hungary, checoslovakya, poland before and after socialism?????

  8. Any of u liberal morons in favor of liberty? Or no, u just want the govt to take care of u n tell u what to do 24-7. Liberalism is going to destroy America. First by taking out spirit, then leading us into bankruptcy, then saying- its not our fault. We thought we could make socialism work. If u support socialism fine, go live in Sweden. Stay away from my liberty n our republic

  9. I wounder why thousands of Cubans flee their socialist paradise if its so great over there? Perhaps you people should look up something called “The Great Purge” in the USSR and “The Great Leap Forward” in Communist China, and the owner of this site says right wingers are not allowed, now there is a true socialist principle! silence any form o opposition and dissent just like Joseph Stalin!!
    VOTE RAND PAUL IN 2016!!!

  10. Calvin Coolidge would be considered a libertarian president, he was socially liberal and economically conservative. During his years as president from 1923-1929 he boasted an average unemployment rate of 2.5% (Clinton had a little over 4% at his lowest) the top 2% of the rich paid income tax WHILE THE BOTTOM 98% PAID NO INCOME TAX! And he managed to pay off 25% of the national debt. Cut spending and lowering taxes has worked in multiple cases where unemployment was much higher than when Obama took office (Warren G. Harding 1920-1921, John F. Kennedy 1961-1963, Ronald Regan 1980-84) and Bill Clinton used small government principles (deregulated banking institutions, free trade and got rid of welfare benefits)

    1. You cannot support rightwing economics on this site. This is a socialist website, and we ban on that stuff.
      Of course rightwing economics (austerity) does not work in a recession or a depression!

  11. I’m not dissing this website’s support for socialism, but I mean c’mon. The mere fact that you won’t let rightwingers voice educated replies shows the oppression and ignorance bred by a socialist environment. No economic system works perfectly, because the world is not perfect, and people are not always virtuous. But, if you think that greed with disappear in a socialist country, you are wrong. Greed, ambition, they are traits inside every human… but so is generosity. Capitalism allows ambition and prosperity, even from the lowest classes. Work hard, and it pays off, and when it pays off, those people give back. America donates more money, per person, than any other country. Humans are ambitious by nature, and capitalism embraces that, and within that, economic prosperity flourishes. Incentives drive us. The only incentive in a socialist country is to become a government figure, so you have more control over the supplies. SO in fact, aren’t the socialist government leaders who “redistribute the wealth” just placing the wealth within the state, and still, not within the hands of the citizens? And even when the supplies do reach the citizens, there isn’t nearly enough. Socialism would be great if everyone wanted to live in a commune and share bunk beds, and wear the same government produced clothes, and promote the wealth of their “so loved” country rather than their personal welfare. The society is stuck in the reigns of a military state who will apply force to ensure “equality.” So, instead of erasing class boundaries, a clear separation is formed: those who control (the force) and those who fear being controlled (the general mass). You can not expect socialist government leaders to not take advantage of their citizens, in order to make their country prosper, in the same way that you can’t expect industry owners to not take advantage of workers, in order to make their company prosper. The world is evil, and people are indecent, but at least capitalism is the lesser of the evils, because it allows us freedom and opportunity. Screw you Robert Lindsay, and screw socialism.
    An educated, proud citizen of The United States of America.

    1. Banned, idiot.
      Rightwingers are banned because I got tired of arguing with them. This site got filled with insane rightwing trolls, and I had to waste time debating them all the time.
      I believe that a small business sector is necessary in any socialist society, and I also believe a market is necessary under any economic system, including socialism. However, the market should be monitored and controlled by the state (society or the people really), not the other way around (the state, the people and society controlled by the market).
      The socialist model whereby the state owns all the property is more or less dead. No one is trying to copy that model anymore. The only people who think that there are millions of Leftists trying to copy the Soviet model are stupid rightwingers like you.

    2. Freedom is a wonderful as viewed from the upper class. Working hard is no guarantee of riches. As a matter if fact most with riches have never worked. Sitting behind a desk isn’t work.

  12. Hey Lindsay,
    You must think that your Fuhrer is going to reward you more if you spew more crapulence. Go ahead and ignore history. Embrace socialism and ban anyone who disagrees. Let me know what you think when your voice and your freedoms go down the tubes with everyone else’s.

  13. The whole idea of street kids is appalling. It shouldn’t exist at all in this world. I wonder why the church hasn’t done anything, or some rich guy hasn’t made an effort to wipe it out. In addition, it seems like local people, no matter how poor, would try to eradicate it. Maybe they could adopt these children.

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