To the editor:
When the USSR collapsed, historian Fukuyama proclaimed “the End of History.”
It was wishful thinking by the prominent professor. History not only continues, but repeats itself.
Consider the Cold War and the Islamic terrorism.
In the fall of 1917 Bolsheviks overthrew the young democratic government of Russia and embarked on building the world’s best society. Western capitalism assisted the Communist effort.
“Capitalists will sell us the rope on which we will hang them” as Lenin said. From 1929 to 1932, the American Albert Kahn designed and built 571 heavy industry plants in the USSR. European industrialists were likewise involved.
Hitler in collaboration with Stalin started WWII in 1939. Two years later, Hitler attacked the USSR. Stalin begged for help and received an enormous amount of war material and food. After the war, President Truman invited the USSR to participate in the Marshall Plan. Stalin declined though the entire western part of the country lay in ruins.
Why reject assistance to alleviate suffering and hunger after crying for help a few years before? The answer belongs to the nature of the country.
The USSR was a brutal totalitarian state where people were as replaceable as the nuts and bolts in the machinery. They did not participate in decision making, they had no freedom and no free choice in anything significant. Every segment of life was ruled by the enormous state bureaucracy. The result of this system was low productivity, appalling living and working conditions, malnutrition, theft, alcoholism and shortened lifespan.
In the capitalist world, the standard of living was improving and blue-collar workers were living better than Soviet professors. In order to conceal the truth and protect the Soviet populace from the corrupting influence of the West, the Iron Curtain was dropped around the USSR. However, it could not be made information-tight. Truth about life in the West continued to seep through, rendering propaganda ineffective and undermining the ideological foundation of Socialism.