My apologies for the tone of my post, if it was bothersome.FTeik wrote:Only I wasn't answering to BabelHunter, but to CruelDwarf, who argued, that WWII was the deciding factor for the poor economic development of the Sovietunion, not communism.
While this is the case, it does not validate the German invasion of the USSR, nor does it make said invasion a consequence of communism. The Nazi decision to become fanatically anti-Bolshevik is not something the Bolsheviks themselves are responsible for. Hitler's belief that Germany needed Lebensraum to the east wasn't either. This was not a case of "you reap what you sow."To be honest I'm a little ambivalent on the invasion of the Soviet-Union. Not on the fact, that more than twenty million people died, the destruction and the suffering. That was and is horrible, inhuman and barbaric. On the other side the Sowiets were already occuppying the Baltic States, the Ukraine, they had shown themselves to be a murderous regime intent on spreading their ideology and they were conspiring with the Nazis to invade and divide Poland between them. And then they end as one of the winners of World War II, sit as judges at the Nuremberg Trials and their influence reaches into the centre of Europe.Simon_Jester wrote:On the other hand, it was clearly not the responsibility of communism that the Soviets were invaded during World War Two.
Thus, the basic point remains valid that nothing inherent in the nature of communism leads to Nazi invasions destroying much of the country. You can reasonably argue that there is something inherent in communism that leads to bureaucratic central planning or dictatorship, because that's a recurring pattern in many communist countries. But you cannot argue that Operation Barbarossa was somehow "communism's fault."
Which is irrelevant to the question at hand. Even if communism is only adopted by poor countries, that doesn't mean we should expect it to magically turn those poor countries into rich countries in a generation or two. It is sufficient if they turn poor countries into less-poor countries, at a rate competitive with other economic systems.No it wasn't, but it was perhaps the one condition, that allowed the Revolution to succeed in Russia, when similar revolutions failed everywhere else.Simon_Jester wrote: Nor was it the responsibility of communism that Czarist Russia was inherently a poorer country than its rivals further west in 1913.
Firstly, the communists cannot be blamed for the actions of the Czars, or vice versa. They were literally mortal enemies. Evils and follies committed by one simply cannot be attributed to the other. We could choose to attribute both sets to "Russians" in general, to be sure. But then you are no longer making an argument about the merits or lack of merits of communism. You are making an argument about the merits of Russians.I have to disagree on this. Russia might have started poorer per capita than Germany and the US but since the poor decisions of first the tsarist regime and then the communists are responsible for the situation not improving as well as it could...Simon_Jester wrote:So when comparing the Second World (the Soviet bloc) to either the First World or the Third, we should control for only those variables which were not caused by the actions of the communists from 1917 through 1991. Russia being significantly poorer per capita than, say, Germany or the US falls into this category, and should be controlled for. Russia being hit with political purges and ideologically motivated disruptions of agriculture does not fall into that category, and should not be controlled for.
Fair is fair.
Perhaps, but we will never know, because there is no other country with such a vast amount of land and resources and people at its disposal that we can use for a controlled experiment.(denying people things like freedom and education (although the communists worked on that), killing millions of their own people in purges and famines caused by communist mismanagment, eridacating the non-communist intelligenzia - all those things didn't help with economic development. (Communist) Russia has/had lots of space, lots of people and lots of resources (which makes it similar to the US), it only has/had to use them. So perhaps they might not be/have become as rich as the US or Germany, but they might have been better of, than they were under communist rule.
The two countries most easily compared in terms of having great wealth, resources, and room for internal expansion in the 20th century are the US and Russia. And the fact is, that in 1913 (shortly before the communists took power in Russia), the US was four times as rich as Russia. In 1973, the US was three times richer than Russia.
The outcomes are very different, but so are the starting conditions, so it is difficult to make any meaningful claim about who accomplished how much relative to the other.
Alternatively, we can compare countries whose starting conditions are similar in some ways, and measure those outcomes.