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Thread: The collapse of the Soviet Union

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    Default The collapse of the Soviet Union

    The collapse of the Soviet Union was a crisis period in Eastern Europe and Russia. What followed was an economic depression. The purposes I want to get out of this thread are personal experiences from people that lived there and to discuss the details of the economy before and after the collapse.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
    --Theodore Roosevelt

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    -- Mark Twain

    "Man who stand on hill with mouth open will wait long time for roast duck to drop in."
    -- Confucius

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    I want to start out with this video:

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCq8TrfYlzc]YouTube - Economic Crisis: My Two Rubles[/ame]

    This guy describes what opportunity existed in Russia during the 1990's, even though the economy was in depression.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
    --Theodore Roosevelt

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    -- Mark Twain

    "Man who stand on hill with mouth open will wait long time for roast duck to drop in."
    -- Confucius

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    take a second of me sarinana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbean View Post
    I want to start out with this video:

    YouTube - Economic Crisis: My Two Rubles

    This guy describes what opportunity existed in Russia during the 1990's, even though the economy was in depression.
    Unemployment rate was very low in SSRS. But what's the point if a cleaning lady earns exactly the same amount of money as an architect? Pretty much every loser was happy there yet a person who has brains and wants to use them and be awarded wasn't happy in such society. After soviet union collapsed those losers became depressed alcoholics because they couldn't fit in in a new capitalistic structure.

    I may not go into details and won't tell you how everybody looked and dressed the same in soviet union. Those who would stand out usually were the ones who had relatives living in America who would send them better closing, electric guitars, magazines, cassettes.

    Never ending rows in food stores was also a part of soviet imagine. However those who worked for KGB or in factories would have more of everything than an average person so dream job was to work in a factory or for KGB.

    Working in a factory means having an ability to steal. So after soviet union broke stealing become a natural phenomenon. Lithuanian politics started illegally privatizing lands instead of thinking how to create more jobs. Also here we have a joke that half of Lithuania was sold to United States. Think now.
    Sincerely Yours,

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    As far as I've heard from people who lived there at the time, it was actually relatively easy to acquire money. Plenty of families had money sitting in bank accounts. The problem was that there wasn't anything to buy so it stayed sitting there. It was hard to get a car, stereo or whatever you wanted. Those are the stories I heard anyway.

    Personally, I can be happy under any system short of a gulag or ethnic cleansing. I don't care about material attachments and I don't like to put a worth on my abilities. It would feel dishonest. I find people who do to be overly dependent and sort of weak in character.
    You can do anything with a bayonet except sit on it.

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Yuri Maltsev worked on Gorbachev's economic reforms before emigrating to the US in '89. He wrote a book, Requiem for Marx, the introduction from which was posted on the von Mises Institute as a daily article here. I highly recommend his book. An online PDF version is available here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jxrtes View Post
    As far as I've heard from people who lived there at the time, it was actually relatively easy to acquire money. Plenty of families had money sitting in bank accounts. The problem was that there wasn't anything to buy so it stayed sitting there. It was hard to get a car, stereo or whatever you wanted. Those are the stories I heard anyway.

    Personally, I can be happy under any system short of a gulag or ethnic cleansing. I don't care about material attachments and I don't like to put a worth on my abilities. It would feel dishonest. I find people who do to be overly dependent and sort of weak in character.
    look pal, if you like russia so much, why don't you go and live there?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    Yuri Maltsev worked on Gorbachev's economic reforms before emigrating to the US in '89. He wrote a book, Requiem for Marx, the introduction from which was posted on the von Mises Institute as a daily article here. I highly recommend his book. An online PDF version is available here.
    Thanks
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
    --Theodore Roosevelt

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    -- Mark Twain

    "Man who stand on hill with mouth open will wait long time for roast duck to drop in."
    -- Confucius

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    Quote Originally Posted by sarinana View Post
    Unemployment rate was very low in SSRS. But what's the point if a cleaning lady earns exactly the same amount of money as an architect? Pretty much every loser was happy there yet a person who has brains and wants to use them and be awarded wasn't happy in such society. After soviet union collapsed those losers became depressed alcoholics because they couldn't fit in in a new capitalistic structure.

    I may not go into details and won't tell you how everybody looked and dressed the same in soviet union. Those who would stand out usually were the ones who had relatives living in America who would send them better closing, electric guitars, magazines, cassettes.

    Never ending rows in food stores was also a part of soviet imagine. However those who worked for KGB or in factories would have more of everything than an average person so dream job was to work in a factory or for KGB.

    Working in a factory means having an ability to steal. So after soviet union broke stealing become a natural phenomenon. Lithuanian politics started illegally privatizing lands instead of thinking how to create more jobs. Also here we have a joke that half of Lithuania was sold to United States. Think now.
    yes! I have heard stories about corruption and looting over there. I always thought that blatant looting was an indication of a collapsing society. You folks have had your collapse, we are about to have ours.

    How much have things gotten better over there in the last 20 years?


    thanks
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
    --Theodore Roosevelt

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    -- Mark Twain

    "Man who stand on hill with mouth open will wait long time for roast duck to drop in."
    -- Confucius

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbean View Post
    How much have things gotten better over there in the last 20 years?
    Things have gotten worse.
    You can do anything with a bayonet except sit on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jxrtes View Post
    Things have gotten worse.
    Expect to see lots of illegal Russians workers in China within the next 10 years.
    You can do anything with a bayonet except sit on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbean View Post
    Thanks
    No problem, thought you might enjoy his insights.

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    take a second of me sarinana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbean View Post
    yes! I have heard stories about corruption and looting over there. I always thought that blatant looting was an indication of a collapsing society. You folks have had your collapse, we are about to have ours.

    How much have things gotten better over there in the last 20 years?


    thanks
    You see I can only talk in the name of three Baltic States (estonia, latvia, lithuania). Before occupation Lithuania was in period of prosperity. People were getting richer and richer. Around 50 new firms would emerge every year. England and Germany would receive 30% of our diary production and grains. And linen export for several years concluded about 1/3 of all our export. Under crop production Lithuania was one of the first countries in Europe.

    I have a picture of my grandmas family just before occupation. Happy big family of 6 kids. Dressed like aristocrats. You would think that picture is of a french family rather than a Lithuanian. Later this family had to hid in the forests for 2 years because Soviets wanted to deport them.


    Lithuanians were AGAINST joining Soviet Union. Nobody asked however.

    Beginning of the second World War in 1939 19 of September The Red Army occupied Lithuania and Latvia. They began to loot our property. They started to export equipment of our factories, even heaters and furniture from Lithuanian apartments.
    Their second move was riddance of Lithuanian politicians and intelligents. In other words everybody who might be dangerous to Soviet structure. Around 200 000 (our population is only 3 millions) of Lithuanian families were either deported to the camp in Siberia or killed. They would deport Lithuanian families in wagons intended for animals around 60-100 people in one. There was no space no fresh air to breath. If you wanted to poo there was a hole digged in the middle of the waggon. Since this "journey" would last around a month many would die on the way. Majority of those people were writers, doctors, politicians, bankers, lawyers, professors. Not only them, however. They would deport their families too including 1 month babies.


    Okay so how we are doing now? After 70 years?
    Answer me a question first. How much can do a human when he is ill?
    Russians sickened our society. Deported and killed our brains and made the rest of the body stagnant. Now our society is ill. These twenty years of freedom we were searching for a vaccine. However we cannot find one.

    Estonia found a vaccine and is doing very great. First thing they did was called desovietisation, meaning they don't let to work in their government or get any higher posts to anybody who used to work for soviet union or is related to soviets in ANY way. This way Estonia became one of the least corrupted countries in the world and I think in next 20 years there won't be any gap between them and Western Europe.

    Desovietisation doesn't work in Lithuania. We have too many of those people and sometimes we get lost who is who. Around 20 000 of Lithuanians are emigrating every year because our government is trying to make slaves out of us. None of these people come back.
    Last edited by sarinana; 07-23-2010 at 04:24 AM.
    Sincerely Yours,

    Beyond the clouds. Beyond the sun.

    The Rebel without a cause.

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    sarinana, I feel your pain, maybe try to get out of the country as soon as possible.
    (D)IEE~FI-(C)SLE~Ni E-5w4(Sp/Sx)/7w8(So/Sp)/9w1(sp/sx)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbean View Post
    The collapse of the Soviet Union was a crisis period in Eastern Europe and Russia. What followed was an economic depression.
    Why ?

    Quote Originally Posted by sarinana
    But what's the point if a cleaning lady earns exactly the same amount of money as an architect?
    Wrong. You're mixing to different systems together.

    Quote Originally Posted by sarinana View Post
    Never ending rows in food stores was also a part of soviet imagine. However those who worked for KGB or in factories would have more of everything than an average person so dream job was to work in a factory or for KGB.
    Contradictions galore.

    Quote Originally Posted by sarinana View Post
    Also here we have a joke that half of Lithuania was sold to United States. Think now.
    Blame that fugitive American-Lithuanian President of yours for this.

    Quote Originally Posted by jxrtes View Post
    Plenty of families had money sitting in bank accounts. The problem was that there wasn't anything to buy so it stayed sitting there. It was hard to get a car, stereo or whatever you wanted. Those are the stories I heard anyway.
    Why ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    Yuri Maltsev worked on Gorbachev's economic reforms ...
    I bet you read R. Conquest as well.

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    take a second of me sarinana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absurd View Post
    Why ?
    Blame that fugitive American-Lithuanian President of yours for this.
    Well they are asking how we are doing now. They are not asking who's fault for it.
    Sincerely Yours,

    Beyond the clouds. Beyond the sun.

    The Rebel without a cause.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sarinana View Post
    Well they are asking how we are doing now. They are not asking who's fault for it.
    I rest my case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbean View Post
    yes! I have heard stories about corruption and looting over there. I always thought that blatant looting was an indication of a collapsing society. You folks have had your collapse, we are about to have ours.

    How much have things gotten better over there in the last 20 years?


    thanks
    For me it got million times better.
    For average young person it got three times better.
    For old people and different weaker society groups it got 5 times worse.
    For people around the age of 40-55 it went both ways, some made a fortune, some got bankrupted and never really recovered.
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    I want to answer more of these posts later, but for now:

    Quote Originally Posted by sarinana View Post
    Okay so how we are doing now? After 70 years?
    Answer me a question first. How much can do a human when he is ill?
    Russians sickened our society. Deported and killed our brains and made the rest of the body stagnant. Now our society is ill. These twenty years of freedom we were searching for a vaccine. However we cannot find one.

    Estonia found a vaccine and is doing very great. First thing they did was called desovietisation, meaning they don't let to work in their government or get any higher posts to anybody who used to work for soviet union or is related to soviets in ANY way. This way Estonia became one of the least corrupted countries in the world and I think in next 20 years there won't be any gap between them and Western Europe.

    Desovietisation doesn't work in Lithuania. We have too many of those people and sometimes we get lost who is who. Around 20 000 of Lithuanians are emigrating every year because our government is trying to make slaves out of us. None of these people come back.


    I know a little bit about how those who stuck out where punished, and now there is no one who sticks out because that aspect of society got breeded out. The only exception to this is possibility in Siberia, but I don't know that for sure because I have not been there.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
    --Theodore Roosevelt

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    -- Mark Twain

    "Man who stand on hill with mouth open will wait long time for roast duck to drop in."
    -- Confucius

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    xerx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absurd View Post
    Why ?
    That's just what I heard. I don't know if it's true or not.
    If it's true than possibly because of the weakness of Soviet Currency so they couldn't import.
    You can do anything with a bayonet except sit on it.

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absurd View Post
    I bet you read R. Conquest as well.
    No, but the name sounds familiar. Didn't he write about Stalin's Purges?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jxrtes View Post
    That's just what I heard. I don't know if it's true or not.
    If it's true than possibly because of the weakness of Soviet Currency so they couldn't import.
    What about sanctions ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Capitalist Pig View Post
    No, but the name sounds familiar. Didn't he write about Stalin's Purges?
    Yes.

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    the flying pig Capitalist Pig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absurd View Post
    Yes.
    Cool, I need to look into him more.

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