The failure at agriculture is known to everybody. The Soviet Union became one of the main importer of grain whereas till sixties was one the main exporters. Does anyone know more on this or can suggest reading material in English/French/Russian language?


1 Answer 1


The Soviet Union failed in a number of industrial fields, agriculture being only one of them. (Note that both in the Soviet Union of the Cold War era, and in the West today, agriculture is an industry.)

  • Soviet doctrine believed that a capitalist organization of industry is bad for the social development of mankind. Experience seems to show that capitalist organization is much better than central planning at delivering industrial output.
  • The Soviet bloc tried to keep up with the West in the military field, despite an overall lower efficiency, which harmed the other sectors, notably consumer goods.

In the early years, agriculture benefitted from some industrialization initiatives, but it greatly suffered from the enforcement of Communist reforms which destroyed any benefits. Later on, a proverb among Communist citizens was "they pretend to pay us, we pretend to work."

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