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The Suicide of Communism: The Case for Patience

Written by Gary North on July 5, 2014

At the age of 72, I look back at my life, and I ask a question: “What was the most significant event of my lifetime?”

I go back and forth between two events, but in fact they were the same event. The first was the decision of Deng Xiaoping in 1979 to begin to remove economic controls over agriculture in China. That led to the greatest period of economic growth over the largest area in the history of man.

The second was the collapse of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in late August 1991. This was followed by the decision of the Soviet government to shut down the Soviet Union in the final week of 1991. This was the largest empire in history geographically. The Russian component spanned 11 time zones. Through its satellite nations, it extended into Western Europe. It had been in operation for over 70 years. It had the most extensive system of control over thought and activities of any large society in the history of man. Yet, in one week, without any bloodshed, the leaders of the USSR simply abandoned it. Nothing like this had ever happened before.

Those of us who lived through it could barely appreciate the magnitude of it. That is because it was bloodless. There was almost no warning. The West had been involved in a great competition between the two systems from 1946 until 1991. Then, without warning, that competition ended. It caught Russians by surprise. It caught Westerners by surprise.

Communist China and Communist Russia were loosely connected by ideology. Each system was far more rigorous than anything in the West. The West was committed to a vague faith in democracy as a political system, but with all kinds of economic opinions and religious opinions tolerated or promoted. The Communists were very different. They had a consistent ideology. It involved a specific view of God, man, law, causation, and the future. There was no toleration of supernatural religion. There was no official toleration of capitalism, although the black market was always allowed to exist, because without the black market, both systems would have completely collapsed. There was a name for it in the USSR: “blat.” There was also a phrase: “Blat is higher than Stalin.” Yet for all of the centralization, for all of the tyranny, and for all of the interference with civil liberties, both systems ended. They did not end with a bang. They ended with a whimper.

There was no collapse. The Chinese economy began to boom almost immediately in 1980. The Russian economy did go through some withdrawal pains, and these lasted for about 10 years. But it has recovered remarkably. Today, Russia is the dashboard camcorder capital of the world. When we watch YouTube videos of spectacular car crashes, a large percentage of them took place in Russia.


All of this was predictable in general. More to the point, all of it had been predicted. It was predicted in 1920 by Ludwig von Mises, in an essay: Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth. In 1922, he extended that essay into a comprehensive treatise, Socialism. Mises made it clear that it would not be possible for any socialist commonwealth to implement its theory of socialism. If any government attempted this, the economy would end in chaos and economic breakdown. Without capital markets, and without the private ownership of the means of production, it is not possible to find out what anything is worth or what anything costs. Without a price system, there is nothing but economic blindness.

The socialists did their best to ignore this essay for the next 70 years, but in the end, it was obvious: Mises was right. The socialist multimillionaire economist Robert Heilbroner finally admitted it in an article in The New Yorker in September 1990. He literally said it: “Mises was right.”

(For the rest of my article, click the link.)

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32 thoughts on “The Suicide of Communism: The Case for Patience

  1. Incredible the similarities between USSR in 1991 and USA in 2014: waging bloody unwinnable wars all over the globe; desperately trying to clamp the lid on dissent and news of its corrupt incompetence; the elite governing body insisting on its success when everything it touches if abject failure; confiscates ever more money from its people and gives back less and less.

    We can only hope the American empire collapses in the same nonevent the USSR did.

  2. Ho Chi Minh at the end of WWII was asking for help from the US. Had the US given him the assistance, the Vietnam War probably would not have occurred. When the US snubbed Ho, he turned to China.
    The Vietnam and China have centuries of dislike for one another. To this day these two countries still do not get along.
    If the US had helped the influence of the free market would have weakened the communist influence.
    The behind the scenes for the Vietnam War stated in 1945. Eisenhower warned the country about the Military Industrial Complex in his farewell speech.
    The MIC can only make billions when they are supply the needs for a war.
    The MIC is supplying the needs to the combatants in the middle east. Oil is not why the war is raging, it is the means to an end.

  3. The stench of our vaporized blood in the streets of America will begin to wake people up. Then again…

  4. The difference is, when the Soviet Union ceased to exist, the United States absorbed the shock, the rest of the world knew that South Korea wasn't going to invade the north, NATO wasn't going to come in and seize the Warsaw Pact countries, Taiwan wasn't going to attack China. When the United States collapses, I assume breaking down into the Russian equivalents of soviets, other nation's economies will collapse, North Korea might as well invade the south, China can and will invade Taiwan, Israel will be destroyed, and though there may be no bloodshed in America, millions will die because the United States no longer exists.

  5. R. Ofir says:

    Unbridled communism leads and has led to disaster. Unbridled Capitalism (periodically) ends the same way. Profit at all costs, is a system that has led to our current decline. The problem with Capitalism is an aspect of human nature which structures companies to strive to increase the return for their investors as a prime objective no matter how they do it. Not that all companies work that way, but too many do. Most people do not break the law but tolerate the imposition of law and order dictated by the few who do break the law. For example,The tragedies inflicted by Bhopal in India, of Exxon, of B.P, are just a handful of a long list of troubles because of unfettered desire for profit. Companies should have to swear the Hippocratic oath: "First do no harm" Our health system is another case in point; instead of learning from Tawain (see T. R. Reid's Book: "The Healing of America" , we get dictated to by a multitude of state by state insurance companies who's only incentive is to limit the amount they pay out while maximizing premiums and using those in cahoots with venture capitalists…There is so much more, but …

  6. Wisdumb says:

    Unbridled capitalism is an oxymoron. Capitalism is always 'bridled' by consumers' choices. When profits are the goal, the desirability of the product drops and the competition takes over. The worst system is capitalism 'bridled' by the state, because it is so deceptive, and there are so many built-in conflicts of interest (profit by rule making).

  7. One theory is that communism simply morphed during it's feigned collapse. The US paid Russia to slow down the Chinese and the US paid China to slow down the Russians. Both communist countries duped the west. Today they grow stronger and were always allies. Dnesh D'Souzas movie will prove the success of communism and the weakening of the USA. You only have to see the election of Obama Bin Lenin to realize the country is communist dominated. Only three options left in the Useless of A. 1-take back the senate in November. 2- impeach Obama.
    3-revolution. http://www.spiritofamericapartyradioshow.com

  8. vietnamvet1971 says:

    Just look around at the Liberal Cities controlled by these Leftist Nutcases and they ALL are Broke, Run Down, Ghetto Cities and eventually the entire USA will be one Big Ghetto.

  9. J. Stark says:

    One of my husband's sayings is "LEARN FROM THE PAST TO PLAN FOR THE FUTURE" and I think it is about time Obama to be impeached and we definitely follow our Constitution.

  10. Arrest him; impeachment will be turned into a circus by the left/progressives. Get the Senate to vote & have the Sargent of Arms arrest obummer to be held for trial. The charges? Fraud, lying about his eligibility, running guns to Mexican cartels, ditto for Syrian terrorists, aiding the enemy, high treason, etc., take your pick. Then we go after his commie cohorts. It’s this or civil war… take your pick.

  11. Old1Glory says:

    If you haven't seen the movie "America – A world without her", take the time to see Dnesh D'Souza's rendition of how we arrived at where we are today. And he addresses the president on his connections to criminals and communist infiltration. If you haven't been digging into info on this man and where he came from this will be a lesson all Americans should have researched before they voted. Look what we got!!!! One hell of a mess with all his Czars and criminals in his back-pocket aiding our enemies, breaking the backs of American while aiding illegals and Muslim.

  12. OleDad48 says:

    Except that in Russia and Ukraine (perhaps elsewhere), organized crime took over government and became obscenely wealthy, while the common folk struggle every day. Nothing sadder than seeing aged grandmothers sitting on wooden boxes along ice-covered winter streets, selling trinkets for pennies so they can eat.

  13. I hate to disagree with you but like with 74% of our total population being made up of Social Externals(i.e., women via their nurturing biology and other than Anglo-Saxon Men & Jews), all of the other nationalities and Human societies also are made up of "GATHERER'S" too, or people looking for handouts from the "rich," as the "rich'(Marxists) love to proclaim! That also includes China, but not Mongolia, by the way, who now runs China thanks to Mongolia's Mao Tse Tung! India remains pretty self-sufficient, but has an on-going war with Pakistan, I believe it is that's been going on now for centuries…

  14. USAgent says:

    I beg to differ on parts, because I believe it will be those nations that actually hate America that will effect us and try everything to take advantage of the situation. Russia, China, Korea will not sit idly by watching and waiting they will want to be the heavy influences on both fronts good and bad. They do not want anything that will remind anyone of what the USA stood for and the influence it once had. Thanks to Barack Obama we have less of a foot print and influence on the world and our nation does not set policy any longer for other to follow.

  15. But what did Mises say would replace it?

  16. Don Rorschach says:

    Danno, you are absolutely correct. Regardless of how many times Communism collapses and everyone can see what a piece of trash it is, those with defective minds like Joseph Stalin and B. Hussein Obama who will use any tool to enslave freedom loving people, will embrace Communism and murder hundreds of millions of people in their question to control and enslave human beings.
    The only thing that will stop this nonsense is for freedom loving people to execute each and every Communist infected person who comes along. It has to be treated like a human cancer.

  17. You can't get rid of evil by murdering "bad" people, because it is the murder itself that is the evil.

  18. HadEnuf says:

    Nice encapsulation, this is the NWO plan, essentially. The calapse of the USSR was all a ruse as both red nations, China and Russia will unite to create a hell on earth – hello Armageddan!

  19. Robert What? says:

    Contrary to popular belief, the Soviet Communist Party did not disband or collapse. They just relocated to the United States.

  20. It isn't just Obama. It's the ENTIRE government. Get it right.

  21. You have much to learn kid.

  22. Potawatomi13 says:

    If only the obamites and other blind fools in this country would realize the stupidity and utter ignorance of their attempt to destroy our Republic. Except for the brief period when Israel actually followed Almighty God(before they demanded a king)our form of government has been the best and most successful. There just HAVE to be those that desire personal power and CONTROL over everybodies lives that manage to ruin it for almost everyone else that doesn't have a lot of money or power themselves.

  23. Rather folks, be worried about "Islam" because it also is written in Revelation 18:10 that it's to "Babylon" that our Savior returns to destroy it within one(1) hour upon his immediate return to earth. As indicated in Revelation chapters 7 & 11, "we the people"11 of the 12 designated tribes of Israel, which includes "Judah" who are punished first by the two-witnesses, which takes 3 1/2 years to complete. In addition, only 144,000 equally divided Israelites from all 12 tribes with the tribe of Joseph replacing the tribe of Dan(Irish) as being protected! This along with another 144,000 spiritually called-out people keeping the correct eternal SABBATHS COVENANT(Weekly & Annual Sabbaths)! That's what's written deductively folks, as commanded in 2 Peter 1:20 for reading all scripture…

  24. Danmo43 says:

    We believe in a democratic republic NOT democracy. Stop spouting this crap.

  25. You completely discount the fact that the USD is not going to be the world trade currency much longer . That is a game changer for sure. And besides we cannot wait and be patient far too much damage is being done daily !

  26. CJeanne says:

    Think we need to think of it as "free market" instead of all the connotations that go along with the world despized "capitalism"!

  27. Akulkis says:

    It's not murder, it's self-defense.

  28. Akulkis says:

    First of all, 'capitalsim" is a Marxist word.
    If you even USE the word, you've already lost the argument, because the definition of "capitalism" is a straw-man.

    So stop using it.

    Free markets is an appropriate word. For one, it distinguishes between an open and fair system, and a rigged "government picking the winners" cronyism like what we have now.

  29. Akulkis says:

    Um… what evidence do you have that the Irish are the tribe of Dan?

  30. History denotes the Irish as Dan. For instance, it was illegal for all Roman Catholics to enter America until AFTER the Civil War! However, Irish "Jesuits" came to America as Protestants and worked from behind the scenes until after the Civil War. They gained as much as the Blacks, didn't they? No, "we the people's"(Jacob's) troubles are just at the beginning! Watch…

  31. Looks more like "Islam" or "Marxism to" me! Both "Anti-Messiah" though…

  32. LiberalsRCommies says:

    Communism was never designed to be eternal. It was designed by Zionist jews as a means to end the Christian Monarchies, Democracies, and Republics. England, Russia, France, Germany, USA, etc. Once most of these countries fell either by war or revolution all that was left was the USA. As soon as the morals declined and economic debt piled up in America the continued use of a Commie boogieman was no longer necessary. For all intents and purposes we have been under complete control since November 22, 1963.