Actually Pretty Funny: I mean, damn it, you only want everyone to be dirt poor. You only care for the dirt poor, and treat everyone the same like you treat the dirt poor. Affluent Soviet citizens need ten years to afford a car, with all the paperwork. And crappy cars indeed. Your homeless man doesn’t even have the patience to wait in a line without drinking, why do you force Soviet people who can afford cars to wait 10 years?
And since the Soviets gave undesirable people too much money and power and installed them in position of power and management, the people who could efficiently ran the country secretly quit.
Your Communism only works in very homogeneous and secluded societies or else it would fail hilariously. Belarus is landlocked and the people are mostly Belorussians, so it couldn’t break free away from Russia and indeed now depends partly on military/ intelligence/ security know-how and support from Russia. And the dictator there routinely puts people into jail because he needs to keep people homogeneous in their thinking. But Ukraine isn’t homogeneous, so they fled. They have their own seaports to export their goods.
One good attribute of the Socialist Man is that he doesn’t complain or protest much. So you don’t hear much about the problems of countries like that.
In this day and age, no one really starves to death anymore. Obesity is now an epidemic. All thanks to tech from the capitalistic West. The Chinese literally sold Chinese made Iphones at 100 USD, so I am not surprised that Belarussians could afford Belorussian cars. Those are cheaper than, say, German imported cars, but they work anyway so why not. But the technology for those cars were imported directly from Italy or Germany, and those cars were older models.
Rich Belarussians of course drive Germans and Italians imported from abroad. A Rolls-Royce model 2000 is a Rolls Royce too, just feels a bit weird. People in America begin to run Tesla electric cars already. Back to Belarus, they of course produce some machinery of all sort, good and bad. Just like China. But the most advanced technology always comes from the West. Belarus has lower cost.
Before China opened up to the world(the West), a Chinese household needed 800 USD to 1000 USD and political connection to set up a home telephone line, the same for North Korea for example. I bet the price in North Korea is much lower now. Mobile service providers now beg me to buy the newest(older) tech from America, I love that.
Ever wonder why Putin has been trying so hard to get sanctions lifted off? He needed tech from the West. Communism= sclerosis. And by the way, Sweden is the role model the Chinese want for themselves. Funny to see you bash it that much. You can’t have it all. Choose 2: Prosperity, Diversity, Free Speech.
I’m not sure if Lukashenko is really a dictator, though some might say he was. The opposition runs against him in every election. They’re right there on the ballot. Go right ahead and tick them off and if enough people do it, they would win. I believe Lukashenko has said he would step down if the opposition wins.
The problem with the opposition is that they are tied to the US, Europe and NATO. Belorussians, like Russians, pretty much hate the US, and they are not fond of the European countries either who they correctly think are run by their enemies. Belorussians absolutely hate NATO and see it as an enemy force. So the Opposition is seen my most people as “the traitors” because they collaborate with the country’s worst enemies.
Truth is that the opposition is very unpopular. Hardly anyone likes them. They routinely get ~20% of the vote, and Lukashenko routinely gets 75-80% of the vote. More or less like Putin. But Putin also has an 87% approval rating. Lukashenko’s approval rating is not much lower than that. The vote count is apparently fair. Also the Opposition never modifies its line. The opposition is neoliberal, and they advocate the complete privatization of the economy which will then be run on free market grounds. Most people in Belarus don’t even like capitalism, and the Opposition with its talk of going full free market frightens most people.
Now it is true that Opposition people are often not allowed to campaign very much. They can be stopped from putting up billboards or posters or handing out pamphlets. The press is run by the state, and the Opposition is hardly given any coverage there. The Opposition complains it is locked out of the media and is not allowed to campaign much. This is correct. But they are still right there on the ballot. Go ahead and tick them off. Feel free. Clearly if enough people voted for them, they would win, but the truth is as noted above that the Opposition is not well liked and in fact is widely hated by Belarussians.
Now the argument is that the way Lukashenko hampers the Opposition means that he is a dictator. I am not sure if that is precisely true. Putin governs in much the same way, so if Lukashenko is a dictator, then Putin is too.
There’s no way that Belarus builds junk machinery if it’s for export. They export all over the world, especially to Europe. They make stuff like tractors. Not one person in Europe will buy a junk tractor. Not one. In order to export that machinery, they must compete with capitalist firms from all over. In Belarus, the shopping districts are nice, full of stores and look like any Western country. And the stores are all full. How could the stores be full if Communism produces nothing but shortages?
I do not know how Belarus does it, but it was said that Belarus and Ukraine were the only two republics that somehow or other figured out how to make Communism work (not an easy task). I am told that even Belarus agriculture, which is heavily state-owned, even works well, which is amazing. I thought collectivized agriculture failed everywhere. Apparently they somehow figured out a way to make collectivized agriculture work too.
There is no homelessness in Belarus. None. I mean zero. It might even be against the law to be homeless. There are some people who are more or less bums who either can’t work or refuse to work. Generally speaking these are single alcoholic men, often older. Belarus would really prefer that everyone work and pay rent, but these guys are such drunks that they’re basically unemployable. In the capitalist world, they would be the roaming homeless.
But in Belarus, they all have an apartment. At some point, the guy is such a drunk that he can’t work anymore. The state investigates and figures nothing can be done. These people are allowed to continue living in their apartments for years if not decades rent-free because really they’re not sober enough to work sufficiently to pay rent. The state does not like drunken bums living rent-free off the state, but they figure that drunk is better off in an apartment than he would be as a wandering homeless derelict. Isn’t that cool to have a country where there is no homelessness and no street bums?
Keep in mind that politically motivated sanctions have been put on Belarus by the EU for a number of years now. They say they are doing this because he is a dictator, but that’s not the real reason. The real reason is that EU countries are now run by fake social democrats who hate Communism and even socialism. They’re neoliberals with a Social Democrat label. Complete sellouts. The sanctions were put on by the EU because they hate Belarus’ economic system, and they want to take it down.
Also there have been endless attacks on the currency by money traders, mostly out of Germany. A recent attempt was very successful and caused an economic crisis. Considering the sanction and the runs on the currency, I am amazed that Belarus is doing as well as it does.
P. S. Ukraine went to capitalism, and it was a complete failure. The economy crashed, and a bunch of (((people))) came in and stole everything that wasn’t nailed down. The economy collapsed a few years after the end of Communism. In Belarus they were starting to privatize, and their leader looked at Ukraine and was appalled. He looked around at the rest of the former USSR, and the same thing was happening.
He stopped the privatization process, and now 80% of the economy is state owned. 20% of the economy is private sector. So Belarus is not pure Communist either. Ukraine is still very free market, in fact more so than ever, and they have a per capita income of $2,125/year. Belarus’ was $5,767-8, 315. So Communist Belarus is kicking capitalist Ukraine’s ass. I am not sure if it is still true, but for a long time, Belarus was the wealthiest of the former Soviet republics. And it was also the one that stayed most Communist, I believe.
Belarus’ per capita income may seem low, but Belarus is in the 45th percentile for PCI. That is, it is in the top 55% of countries in the world in PCI. It’s income is higher than 55% of the countries in the world. It’s in the upper half of income distribution in the world. That’s not so bad.