[Marxism] Hammer and Tickle

Kai killakai at gmail.com
Thu Jul 10 08:54:40 MDT 2008

well by 1980 there really was no sembelance of socialism left in the USSR so
not surprising at all.

On Thu, Jul 10, 2008 at 10:06 AM, Pance Stojkovski <pance at rogers.com> wrote:

> -----Original Message-----
> > Paula - Hammer and Tickle
> >
> >(this books is getting quite a few reviews right now)
> The joke that best describes the failure of the Soviet
> Union is this famous one:
> "they pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work."
> I think it gets to the essence of the Soviet project
> and why it failed. I visited the USSR in the 1980s and
> the lack of a sense of common ownership or any sense
> of "working class communalism" in the socialist
> country was glaringly obvious.
> There were political posters proclaiming the latest
> five-year plan - with slogans like "lets fulfill the
> five year plan in four years!". But the most important
> thing for workers was to have and be seen with the
> latest western t-shirt or shopping bag.
> I met a Russian who told me an example of the reason
> why their system could not work. The Central Committee
> in its wisdom had decreed that railway workers would
> be paid by the number of kilometers traveled. So, as
> the story goes, this one particular state enterprise
> bought some top of the line refrigerated railway cars
> and sent them traveling around the USSR. Of coarse,
> you can see the punch line - the workers were paid
> regardless of what (if anything) these refrigerated
> cars were transporting. To this day, I still have this
> image of an empty refrigerated railway car going
> through the Caucasus.
> Pance.
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