Anyone who actually knows anything about the Communist economies, euphemistically referred to by the UN Statistics books as “Centrally Planned Economies,” has got a good laugh at what Lenin and his fellow Intellectuals and Idealists ran into when they started to plan production.
For instance, they had to have quotas for glass production. They tried stating it in pounds of glass, but what came out from the terrified managers was glass slabs weighing hundreds of pounds and useless for anything.
And yes, Virginia, they actually TRIED the alternative: stating the quotas in square inches. You have probably guessed, but they didn’t, that glass came pouring out a fiftieth of an inch think and very little of it was ever anything but shards when it was actually delivered.
The problem with Communism was never the long debate about Moral Relativism argued by William F. Buckley in his long Latinate words that impressed conservatives so much. The problem was that Communism is SILLY.
If you listen to my latest interview with Truck Roy, you will hear his question tome about Communism. My reply was, “What will you PRODUCE?” It’s too basic not to be shocking.
Truck Roy, like anybody else, said, ”Food, consumer goods.” I don’t know ANYBODY who was EVER ready for that question.
The answer is that Lenin and Company knew what “goods” were. They knew what “goods” were because they were what people wanted. But are you going to produce the same goods FOREVER? A Communist planner always assumes there will be market economies out there showing him what production to plan.
Hell, even when they had lots of markets to imitate, they couldn’t find the right WORDS to put the quotas in. Factories in the USSR always stacked up huge piles of parts they couldn’t use. The Russian economy was a total shambles under the USSR, always. The people always lived like third-worlders while their reports to the UN showed them catching up with the USA in per capita income.
It is amazing. The entire economy of the Soviet Union, more than three hundred million white people, never produced ONE SINGLE consumer good anybody outside the USSR could put on the market!
Nobody notices. The CIA reported the growth statistics put out by terrified Soviet managers as the truth. Some of us spent some time inside those countries, and we couldn’t believe anyone could say that. But the Ivy Leaguers didn’t go to the USSR in anything but first-class seats, and they sure as hell didn’t go into the department stores I went into.
The CIA’s Ivy League view was exactly like the John Birch Society’s view. The USSR was a Giant Conspiracy run by Evil Geniuses who were using slave labor to catch up with the United States. The concept that the USSR was SILLY was as alien to them as it was to the Intelligence Community.
No one SAW the Soviet Absurdity. No one noticed as it toppled over.
And nobody considers that odd.