Someone named Orlov says in the essay linked above:

When the Soviet system went away, many 
people lost their jobs, everyone lost their savings, wages and pensions were 
held back for months, their value 
was wiped out by hyperinflation, there shortages of food, gasoline, medicine, 
consumer goods, there was a 
large increase in crime and violence, and yet Russian society did not collapse. 
Somehow, the Russians found 
ways to muddle through. How was that possible? It turns out that many aspects 
of the Soviet system were paradoxically 
resilient in the face of system-wide collapse,
CB: Evidently, the SU had more of a grass roots and democratic society , 
working class people's world there all 
along than a lot of observers and critics, West and East , thought. Was this a 
paradox or was it proof that working 
people ran things more than critics claimed ?

That the author evidently didn't expect this, 
suggests he didn't quite understand fully what was going on "at the base" of 
his country.


 many institutions continued to function, and 
the living arrangement was such that people did not lose access to food, 
shelter or transportation, and could survive 
even without an income. The Soviet economic system failed to thrive, and the 
Communist experiment at constructing a 
worker's paradise on earth was, in the end, a failure.
CB: Or maybe the collapse of the Soviet state 
was the state whithering away, as Marx prognosticated. And what is left is 
closer to the free association of free producers, 
or whatever, Since Marx didn't predict a "workers paradise", maybe this author 
is looking for the wrong thing, and what
 is there is closer to what Marx envisioned than he thinks.

Since the collapse of the Soviet state, I've 
always been interested in the reports like this one that people continued to 
survive "without income" or wages. That 
means that the money system, the wage system went "poof" !  That's what is 
supposed to happen in communism. 

Very interesting.


 But as a side effect it inadvertently achieved 
a high level of collapse-preparedness. 

CB: Maybe it wasn't so inadvertent. Maybe the 
big ,bad Soviet state was a protective, scary mask worn to ward off the vicious 
imperialist system, and the real future society was grown on purpose 
underneath, with hardy roots. It is 
not likely an accident that the society he describes survived and functions.
You can be sure that they are growing a lot of local food in gardens.


In comparison, the American system could 
produce significantly better results, for time, but at the cost of creating and 
perpetuating a living arrangement
 that is very fragile, and not at all capable of holding together through the 
inevitable crash. Even after the Soviet 
economy evaporated and the government largely shut down, Russians still had 
plenty left for them to work with. 
CB: My estimate is that he is mistaken that 
this was "inadvertent". It was not a paradise, but it was a place where the 
working class was empowered and running their own lives.

And so there is a wealth of useful information 
and insight that we can extract from the Russian experience, which we can then 
turn around and put to good use in helping
 us improvise a new living arrangement here in the United States – one that is 
more likely to be survivable.

CB: Hopefully. But unfortunately, we don't have socialism, and they did.

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