Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Real wages of Soviet workers regained their 1913 level only in 1963

My nephew was taught at school in England that Lenin was an improvement on Tsar Nicholas II. This article on the complete failure of socialism in the Soviet Union is worth reading for people who are not clear about it. 

It tells us inter alia that
According to such scholars as Professor Sergei Propokovich, Dr Naum Jasny, and Mrs Janet Chapman, for instance, the real wages of Soviet industrial workers in 1970 were hardly higher than in 1913. Similarly, the Swiss economist, Jovan Pavlevski, calculated in 1969 that the real wages of Soviet industrial workers attained the level of 1913 only in 1963. Pavlevski also found that the real incomes of Soviet agricultural workers in 1969 were only 1.2 per cent higher than in 1913.
The article quotes Professor Tibor Szamuely's pamphlet, Communism and Freedom, published in 1969:
Few people in the West realise to what extent before the Revolution, in the early years of the 20th century, Tsarist Russia had full freedom of the press – no censorship: even Bolshevik papers and books were freely printed – full freedom of foreign travel, independent trade unions, independent courts, trial by jury, a fairly advanced system of social legislation, etc. Tsarist Russia had a parliament, a Duma, with MPs elected from various parties, including the Bolsheviks. This was not a full parliament in the English sense of the word (the executive was not responsible to parliament), but today, on the whole, pre-revolutionary Russia would be regarded as a model democracy, and compared to most of the hundred and twenty-odd countries inhabiting the United Nations Organisation, one of the fifteen or twenty most liberal states in the world.

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