If the USSR wasn't such a bad thing, then why did it collapse?

Dec 2011
1,303
#52
With the Japanese you are looking at a cultural movement. One built and adapted over centuries, it did prize the collective but left enough room for the innovators. The Soviet experiment was an imposed one, created and implemented in less than a generation.
Japanese culture didn't leave such room, rather, the government created that innovative space, and the corresponding culture, once it became clear that without it they would lose out against the Imperial powers of the day. In fact, the government promoted and regulated innovation for almost a hundred years and it was as much a product of top-down imposition as the Soviet system. There is no reason why Socialist countries should not have been able to achieve the same when it comes to "human motivators", as evidenced, say, by the potential of a very few innovative pockets in Socialist nations such as the optical industry organized around the Carl Zeiss combine in Eastern Germany.

The problem of Socialism was, rather, the inherent difficulty of planning innovation, especially when political interests attach to it, and, even more problematic, the social and political disruptions that come with successful innovative activity. Socialism was not flexible enough politically to deal with these two problems, while the Japanese-type developmental state was. Political elites in the former attached their fate directly to a specific ideology whose core tenets were economic planning and the moral superiority of a certain social system, political elites in the latter, on the other hand, attached their fate to certain outcomes, and thus were much more flexible in their selections of tools and methods. In other words, the Japanese succeeded in promoting innovation because they did not try to control it, while at the same time, they also succeeded in integrating the originators of innovation into their elites and compensating the losers.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,369
#53
Japanese culture didn't leave such room, rather, the government created that innovative space, and the corresponding culture, once it became clear that without it they would lose out against the Imperial powers of the day. In fact, the government promoted and regulated innovation for almost a hundred years and it was as much a product of top-down imposition as the Soviet system. There is no reason why Socialist countries should not have been able to achieve the same when it comes to "human motivators", as evidenced, say, by the potential of a very few innovative pockets in Socialist nations such as the optical industry organized around the Carl Zeiss combine in Eastern Germany.

The problem of Socialism was, rather, the inherent difficulty of planning innovation, especially when political interests attach to it, and, even more problematic, the social and political disruptions that come with successful innovative activity. Socialism was not flexible enough politically to deal with these two problems, while the Japanese-type developmental state was. Political elites in the former attached their fate directly to a specific ideology whose core tenets were economic planning and the moral superiority of a certain social system, political elites in the latter, on the other hand, attached their fate to certain outcomes, and thus were much more flexible in their selections of tools and methods. In other words, the Japanese succeeded in promoting innovation because they did not try to control it, while at the same time, they also succeeded in integrating the originators of innovation into their elites and compensating the losers.
Well its not like there was no innovation, but it tended to focus on government priorities, such as weaspon, space and heavy industry.... because that's where the money and support went..... I always wondered in a society like that: say you invent a particularly fluffy toilet paper, where would you go with such an invention ? which state committee would not laugh you out of the room (at best.... at worst send you to some reeducation camp where you would be taught not to waste the state's and the people's resources on bourgeois and decadent inventions) and would be bold enough to "recommend" your invention to be pursued and production facilities to be created ...? (perhaps your only chance would be to demonstrate that with such a toilet paper the USSR would jump ahead of the decadent capitalist states in the area of personal hygiene ?) Where as in Japan you are free to invent toilets with more electronics than your average computer and now the japanese cant live without their smart potties...
 
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stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,178
Las Vegas, NV USA
#55
If the USSR wasn't such a bad thing, then why did it collapse?

Like anything that's badly built, it collapsed under its own weight. The Council of Ministers had over 70 ministries. It was built on the notion "There is only the state. Everything is under the state" (Lenin). Put everything in the state and the state eventually collapses.

That's why the USSR wasn't brought back although Putin would like its territory back. Today Russia is a smoothly running kleptocracy.


 
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Sep 2012
9,017
India
#56
How about the economic warfare waged on the USSR?

The information belongs in this link belongs in this discussion, but it can not be copied and pasted. The west waged economic warfare against the USSR as it waged economic warfare against Cuba. No economy can flourish when it faces such economic warfare.

From Blockade to Trade: Allied Economic Warfare Against Soviet Russia, June 1919 to January 1920 on JSTOR
The confrontation between the West and the Communist block might have been started by the West or the USSR. It is immaterial. The USSR paid for all the sabre rattling because the ' sabres 'were costly and the economy of the USSR had not recovered from the effects of WW II ; though the Marshall plan possibly helped it to an extent.
 

athena

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
5,032
Eugene, Oregon
#57
You're commenting on the Soviet Union and you don't know what collectivisation is? That doesn't fill me with confidence that you are familiar with the subject.
Excuse me, I do know what collectivism is and thinking you can judge me instead of explaining your meaning is a mistake.
 

athena

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
5,032
Eugene, Oregon
#58
The confrontation between the West and the Communist block might have been started by the West or the USSR. It is immaterial. The USSR paid for all the sabre rattling because the ' sabres 'were costly and the economy of the USSR had not recovered from the effects of WW II ; though the Marshall plan possibly helped it to an extent.
You are right. And sooner or later the US debt caused by military expenses is likely to bankrupt its economy as well. On a humanitarian level, it is already bankrupt. The US demobilized after every war until the Korean War. Eisenhower was president during the Korean war and he established the Military Industrial Complex with is spiraling expenses and changed focus of consciousness, in direct opposition to its historic commitment of avoiding that expense and working for peace through agreements based on reason and such actions and the Peace Core.
 
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athena

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
5,032
Eugene, Oregon
#59
Well its not like there was no innovation, but it tended to focus on government priorities, such as weaspon, space and heavy industry.... because that's where the money and support went..... I always wondered in a society like that: say you invent a particularly fluffy toilet paper, where would you go with such an invention ? which state committee would not laugh you out of the room (at best.... at worst send you to some reeducation camp where you would be taught not to waste the state's and the people's resources on bourgeois and decadent inventions) and would be bold enough to "recommend" your invention to be pursued and production facilities to be created ...? (perhaps your only chance would be to demonstrate that with such a toilet paper the USSR would jump ahead of the decadent capitalist states in the area of personal hygiene ?) Where as in Japan you are free to invent toilets with more electronics than your average computer and now the japanese cant live without their smart potties...
You must take your fluffy toilet to the media and make everyone believe this is what they want, even though it is really rip off because all that fluff means they are getting less paper for their money.

Or if you want to sell illegal drugs, you do this with personal contacts, like Avon or Tupperware market their products. Marketing is everything.

But hey, where do I get one of those smart potties, that sounds very interesting! LOL just did some reading about the smart toilets and it requires someone with a computer IQ to operate it. I think I will pass.
 
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Jun 2013
485
Connecticut
#60
The Russians are an evil people who have brought absolute misery to the world for a far longer time than any other fanatical leadership or society from the early historical beginnings - 21st c. Their machinations of horror have oftentimes reached the stratospheric level of a Hitler/Genghis Khan, etc - only for them they managed to do it for a far longer period of time.They are a people easily manipulated and subservient.
Yes I've read histories but I've also lived among Russian emmigrants to the USA and the "lovely" stories they told. And I've lived among Poles who told me oral histories of the Russians in the 1940s; among Hungarians who talked about the 1950s; among Slovaks who talked of the 1960s........and it goes on. I have never, ever heard anything good about Russia or the Russians. Not even from the Chinese who I often talk to in a work environment.