By Simon Kemp

This ebook explores no matter if the ideology of communism used to be doomed to failure because of mental instead of structural flaws. Does communism fail simply because there's not sufficient person incentive and does it discourage mental possession? if that is so, does it produce realized helplessness and for that reason empower evil? This publication considers such questions, either with appreciate to how communism truly functioned and the way it may well have functioned utilizing examples from japanese Europe and the USSR itself throughout the twentieth century. It reports either the ideology of communism and its background, in addition to the elemental yet tricky query of the way one could come to a decision even if an economy will be outlined as winning or now not.

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Extra resources for Was Communism Doomed?: Human Nature, Psychology and the Communist Economy

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Note, firstly, that they, like some of the other measures discussed in previous sections, cannot be used to answer “what if ” questions. Secondly, if people tend to emigrate from one society to another, this does not necessarily give us a good indication of what it is about their society that was the key reason for their departure. For example, before the erection of the Berlin Wall those moving from East to West were often the better educated members of society, and could earn higher salaries in the West.

Although communist systems had an ideal of equality and allotting goods and resources by need rather than wealth or input, this remained an ideal that was generally unrealised. In practice, communist systems often did allot resources unequally to individuals, sometimes with the clear aim of using them as incentives. Nonetheless, it is worth considering whether or not such an allocation system might be workable, and from time to time in what follows, psychological research that bears on this question one way or the other is considered.

It is common today to criticise the per capita GDP measure as a measure of economic well-being because it takes little account of environmental degradation, it excludes many desirable aspects of production, for example, housework, and it often includes aspects of production which most people would consider undesirable. For example, if you live in a dangerous country where elaborate security measures are necessary, the cost of these measures will add to per capita GDP, but there is no reasonable sense in which you are better off because you live in such a country.

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