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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/8798/the-decline-and-fall-of-gorbachev-and-the-soviet-state/

The Decline and Fall of Gorbachev and the Soviet State

October 17, 2008 by

Lenin’s slogan, “Marxism is Almighty Because It Is True,” was displayed practically everywhere in the former Soviet Union (writes Yuri Maltsev). My first encounter with Karl Marx came in the first grade of elementary school in the city of Kazan on the banks of the great Volga River. His picture was printed on the first page of the first textbook I opened. “Dedushka Marx” (Grandfather Marx), said the teacher pointing to the picture.

I was thrilled, for both of my grandfathers died in Stalin’s purges in the 1930s. I ran home to my grandma to tell her she was wrong. “I have a grandpa,” I said, and with his huge beard and smiling eyes, “he looks like Father Frost” (the Soviet/atheist version of Santa Claus or Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of Russia). FULL ARTICLE

{ 12 comments }

Anonymous Coward October 17, 2008 at 5:21 pm

While reading the article I recalled a joke:

Q: Who is a communist?
A: A person who read the works of Marx and Lenin.
Q: Who is an anticommunist?
A: A person who understood them.

David October 17, 2008 at 7:18 pm

Now Gorbachev advertises luggage for the haute bourgeois fashion house Louis Vuitton.

It’s a funny old world.

Thanks for a very interesting article.

P.M.Lawrence October 17, 2008 at 8:56 pm

Curious. “Dedushka” is a diminutive, it means “little Dede”. But “Dede” is the Turkish for grandfather, so it’s a loan word from Turkish (it didn’t go the other way, because it is present in ancient Turkish oral tradition, e.g. “there is a man called Dede Korkut who is looking for his grave, and we are digging it”).

newson October 17, 2008 at 11:30 pm

excellent article. it’s a shame there’s not more published on mises.org about how bad the soviet experiment was from those who lived it. the personal anecdotes are compelling, and are a great complement to the pure theory or technical aspects.

as a foil to western environmentalism and its constant cry for state intervention, i’d like to see more written about how friendly the communist system was to gaia.

freedom lover October 18, 2008 at 12:39 am

Absolutely hilarious!!!!! I just love these insults:

“A huge part of Russian industrial stock is as productive as an industrial-history museum.”

“The main difference between Gorbachev and his predecessors was….a university education: a masters in law and a masters in agriculture. Given Soviet education, that is probably why the first thing he did was ruin the agricultural distribution system.”

“Gorbachev learned what previous regimes had understood: it is easier to govern people who are drunk because they withstand humiliation and abuse better…. So Gorbachev … ordered a massive increase in alcohol production.”

“Then Gorbachev began a campaign against ‘dishonest income’ …. The problem was not a single person in the Soviet Union was untainted by unofficial economic activity. The official economy did not produce enough of anything desirable, so if a person was untainted, he was probably already dead.”

I just love the one about how Karl Marx looks like “Father Frost”… Am I the only one who sees the irony in that???

Inquisitor October 18, 2008 at 9:46 am

Generally it’d be good to have more articles on actually existing so-called socialist systems (and so-called left-anarchist ones, like in Spain), as a lot of people cite these as “proof” socialism can work. Mr Maltsev is a real blessing to the LVMI.

J Cortez October 18, 2008 at 12:33 pm

Wow. Great article.

Maltsev is a true gem. His arguments against socialism are all the more moving because he actually lived through it.

Awhile ago I enjoyed Yuri Maltsev’s mp3 talk on Cuba, and filed away his name for later study. It was a pleasant surprise to see his name on this. Outside of articles here, has he written any full length books?

Abhilash Nambiar October 18, 2008 at 12:52 pm

The word malayalam caught my eye. It is the language spoken in the Indian state of Kerala which is still today a communist stronghold in India. Malayalam is also my native tongue. Maltsev if you are reading these comments perhaps you can get one of your old translator friends to translate ‘Human Action’ and other works by Mises into malayalam. That may go a long way in undoing the damage imposed by communism on the state of Kerala.

Jimmy Don October 18, 2008 at 7:18 pm

Yuri,
That is outstanding work and a wonderful read. Thank you. As my Grandparents fled Minsk in 1917, this was truly enlightening and resonated with me personally.
If we can remember history such as this, there just may be hope for us this time.

Bruce Koerber October 19, 2008 at 9:17 pm

Dear Yuri,

Thank you for revealing the details of the communist system and how it (doesn’t) works. It was fascinating (meant to pay honor to the millions of poor ones who suffered at the hands of these vile doctrinaires) to read about the historical figures and the corruption and the schemes.

How bizarre that Gorbachev was deemed “Man of the Year” by Time magazine! Proof – that the KGB has infiltrated many institutions, which partially explains the unConstitutional coup in the U.S.

Oil Shock October 20, 2008 at 2:46 pm

Malayam happens to be my first language too. My native state in India was the first place on planet earth to elect communists to power through ballot. We have social democratic utopia back there. Unemployment has always been over 20%. But if you visit Kerala, you would think it is the most prosperous part of India, because of the petromoney that arrives from middle-east. Lack of opportunities in this state has driven a large portion of otherwise educated people of Kerala into places like the Middle east.

BTW, a near 100% literacy rate in Kerala, compared to just over 50% in rest of India is not to the credit of the communists. At the time of independence from Britain, Kerala’s literacy rate was close to 50%, compared to the overall Indian average of 8%.

Scott Fox October 22, 2008 at 10:16 am

Fantastic article. There is very little accurate information about the Soviet/Russian state in the western media. I would be interested to see many more articles like this one, and I will be purchasing a copy of the book.

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