The Failure of the USSR Varous discussions of Marxism/Socialism/Communism/Whatever always start with one person (often me) saying "Marxism doesn't work" followed immediately by someone responding with "Marxism has never been tried". The resulting discussion then goes to how the USSR (for example) did or did not adhere to Marx's vision, rather than actually discussing the failings of Marxism. So in this thread, I'm going to flip it over: This is a thread about the failure of the USSR, not the failings of communism/socialism/Marxism themselves. Naturally, I am going to draw parallels, but I don't want to hear "Marxism has never been tried" - true or not, it isn't relevant. This is a thread about what, specifically, has been tried and what has failed (heck - even what has worked). So for starters, we need to agree on the premise of this discussion. Here it is: On December 25, 1991, the Soviet Union was disbanded. The Soviet system of government was therefore, de facto, a failure. The purpose of this thread, then, is to discuss why. I have two very closely related reasons which I will put simply for now, then expand on later: 1. The USSR failed because its political/economic system did not adequately reward personal achievement. Ie, doctors, engineers, CEOs, etc. were not adequately rewarded for their skills, education, intelligence, - even luck - and the result was a culture of mediocrity which resulted in people performing to their level of reward instead of being rewarded for their level of performance. The result of that was a stagnant economy. 2. Coupled with that was the idea of forced equality of outcome. Besides not being adequately rewarded for achievment, doctors, engineers, businessmen, ect. saw those who did not achieve being given what they did not earn. Forcing equality where none exists results in tension, dissent, and defiance - which the USSR actively suppressed with secret police and passively suppressed with propaganda. The final straw on the camel's back was actually the failure of the propaganda to control the people. Opinions?