Excerpts from “Socialism Betrayed: Behind the Collapse of the Soviet Union” by Roger Keeran & Thomas Kenny, part 2

I just ran into some older screenshots (forgot all about them ’cause I read the first half of the book and only after a few months continued with the second half) which still seem extremely relevant. Of course, I strongly recommend reading the entire thing but I’m posting these excerpts in the hope that they’ll get you hooked. All underscores in red are mine.

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One Response to Excerpts from “Socialism Betrayed: Behind the Collapse of the Soviet Union” by Roger Keeran & Thomas Kenny, part 2

  1. My own research into the fall of the Soviet Union found that Gorbachev started out with a genuine interest in renewing socialism but after a few years, when conditions had deteriorated, he did not know what to do and opted to begin to steadily introduce more elements of capitalism. By doing so, he snipped the web of threads that tied together the Soviet system.

    It is true that Gorbachev had advisers wishing to bring about capitalism, but the irony is that by appointing hard-liners to several key security and government positions in 1990 and early 1991, he was actually helping to bring about more capitalist elements into the economy through implicit threats of repression, and actual repression, such as the attack on the Vilnius communications center. And, of course, those hard-liners sealed the country’s fate with their ill-conceived and failed coup against Gorbachev, effectively pushing decisive power into the hands of Yeltsin, who did have every attention of restoring capitalism.

    Members of the nomenklatura who began to take state property for themselves, and the black-market networks that would evolve into the criminal syndicates that overran Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union, did much to implement capitalism from below. Trotsky, twice in the 1930s, predicated that if the bureaucracy were left unchecked, it would seek to privatize property, which did happen.


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