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Queuing for food

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Loz
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Soviet cogitations: 11879
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Philosophized
Post 14 Mar 2012, 19:43
Bulgaria certainly wasn't a "strong" fascist ally. It never even declared war on the USSR for example.

Romania however was, since it sent nearly a million soldiers against the USSR.

And whether it changed sides "in the last moment" (the coup happened in August 1944) or not,Romanian soldiers still assisted the Soviet troops in numerous battles from Transilvania to Austria, sacrificing many men.
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Soviet cogitations: 4491
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 14 Mar 2012, 21:19
Man In Grey wrote:
This man was rather complex, as he had a German eagle tatooed on his neck, and had a lot to say about Gypsies, Jews, and Black people. I of course ignored this for I was only interested in him as a citizen of a socialist country. To me, he was a primary source to a section of history that I can't learn enough about. However despite his rather "eccentric" views in regards to fascism/nationalism, he talked about how all the eastern bloc countries nowadays are in "absolute shit" which indicated he saw more good in these countries as socialist than he does now, as they are degenerative capitalist countries...Yet then he would preach nationalism to me, and even asked me "are you jewish?" and when I told him no, he replied, "Good."

Let's just say, as interesting as he is, he made me a bit uncomfortable.


This seems to be a common tendency among many East Europeans that look back somewhat nostalgically to their countries' socialist days. It's a very odd phenomenon and in my research I have found particularly common among Poles. Among Russians since the late 1980s the nationalist camp largely split between 'red nationalists' who are Russian nationalists who for whatever reason accept socialism and Soviet socialist history, and 'white nationalists' who blame the destruction of Russia and all its development potential after 1917 on the Bolsheviks. I have found that over the last 20 years, the number of red nationalists has grown, while white nationalist ideas have become the home of more and more liberals -the enemy of both camps. In Russia some people, most prominently among them red nationalist Maxim Kalashnikov, have made it their goal to unite the two camps, essentially by convincing white nationalists that the original Bolshevik project had many good ideas and that a new one would drop some of the policies which white nationalists found antithetical to their views in the first (such as anti-theism).

Man In Grey wrote:
What they don't teach at all in history was that many of the socialist bloc states, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania, were strong fascist allies. They needed liberation, imo. They were enemy states, how could they not be fought against??? But in school it is taught as a communist takeover. Never mind the fact they were fascist allies assisting the Nazis in their doings.


That's a good point. Also important to remember is that even before the onset of fascism or alliance with Germany, most of these countries were highly authoritarian, nationalist and anti-democratic, including the states you mentioned but also Poland, Yugoslavia and the Baltic states. Basically Czechoslovakia was the only Eastern European democracy, and they had a massive communist party (the largest in Europe if I'm not mistaken) and good relations with the USSR before the war, with the Soviets being the only power seriously opposed to Munich.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Feb 2012, 23:00
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 14 Mar 2012, 22:08
I never knew that alot of Eastern European countries were Facist. You're right, all i ever heard on the subject was how the horrible Russians ransacked and loot these poor war torn countries, when infact they were Nazi allies and needed liberation.
“It is better to die standing than to live on your knees.“-Che Geuvara
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Jul 2011, 11:37
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 14 Mar 2012, 23:27
Posh intellectuals in the West were fascist too. The king of England was sympathetic to fascism in the 1930s. There were huge fascist movements in WW2 era India. Pretty much every politician in the 1920s and 1930s who was not communist was a fascist.

It also should be said that not even nations "allied" with Nazis had it good in any way. Slovakia was a Nazi puppet during WW2 yet Gestapo and SS commited genocide on any village that they discovered to be helping the partisans. We had a giant resistance movement and also an uprising http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slovak_National_Uprising . The people who were leading our nations were not representative of the population, they were hideous traitors who personally gave medals to SS units that surpressed the uprising. Once they shot a village of people to death then burned them in a concrete klin. My great-grandmother personally welcomed the Soviet troops and the event of them kicking fascists out of here is still a state holiday. But then we were not like Romania, we are Slavic, and people have always hated fascists here.
Soviet cogitations: 124
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Mar 2012, 00:06
Unperson
Post 19 Mar 2012, 00:39
I do not believe that there were queues. I was in St. Petersburg, 1982. I did not queue for coffee. I did not queue for bread. I did not queue for sausages. But I queued for toilet paper. Is there toilet paper in the Philippines?The hell, none. They use their hands to wash them..
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 20 Jul 2011, 15:17
Party Member
Post 24 Mar 2012, 19:28
Anyone have any sources for this information? I am trying to convince someone that breadlines were not commonplace in the USSR until the 80's.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Jun 2010, 16:09
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Komsomol
Post 24 Mar 2012, 22:36
khlib wrote:
Anyone have any sources for this information? I am trying to convince someone that breadlines were not commonplace in the USSR until the 80's.


Not even that. The breadlines and shortages overall hit really bad in 90-91. However, I suppose 89 was the start of it. My only source is a book I have called the "Soviet Image" that shows pictures of shops with no goods in them, during the "hey days" of perestroika. Signs saying "No socks" "No shoes" that were placed on empty shelves. However it still doesn't prove that there weren't breadlines any other time, but don't you find it rather interesting that the only pictures used in that book that depicted of any sort of shortage of goods, food etc. were from the Gorbachev years? However they're quick to relate these shortages and economic problems to the Soviet planned economy with of course no mention of Gorbachev's sweeping policies having a hand in it. (Not to mention it also says Gorbachev was a communist to the end, and wanted to stay a communist in power, which also isn't true.)

I know this isn't what you're asking for, i.e. Breadlines but I'd say its most certainly related. Since a breadline would indicate a shortage, obviously.

Here's some pictures in my book, the second pic is just the text at the bottom of the same page. Notice they try to link the problems of the Soviet capitalist days under Gorbachev as being inherent problems of the Soviet planned economy.

Image


Image
Партия всегда права.
Die Partei hat immer recht.
The Party is always right.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 07 Oct 2004, 22:04
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Resident Soviet
Post 25 Mar 2012, 06:25
http://www.gks.ru/free_doc/new_site/business/prom/natura/natura31g.htm

This chart by the Russian Federal Service of State Statistics compares the production of various food goods in the RSFSR and in contemporary Russia.

The products listed in the left column are as follows (I've removed the yearly updates from 2001-2008):

1990 - 1995 - 2000 - 2009

Meat, including offal, in thousands of tons 6484 - 2370 - 1194 - 3380
Meat, processed thousands of tons 1075 - 268 - 244 - 1538
Sausages, thousands of tons 2283 - 1293 - 1052 - 2238
Fish products (including canned fish), millions of tons 4,3 - 2,4 - 3,0 - 3,9
Vegetable oils, thousands of tons 1159 - 802 - 1375 - 3271
Margarine Production, thousands of tons 808 - 198 - 462 - 693
Milk production, millions of tons 20,8 - 5,6 - 6,2 - 10,9
Butter, thousands of tons 833 - 421 - 267 - 233
Cheeses, thousands of tons 458 - 218 - 221 - 442
Ice cream, thousands of tons 466 - 232 - 346 - 354
Canned goods, millions of cans 8206 - 2428 - 3223 - 11659
Flour, millions of tons 20,7 - 14,0 - 12,1 - 10,2
Groat Grain, thousands of tons 2854 - 1418 - 932 - 1258
Dry Starch, thousands of tons 17,9 - 34,2 - 44,7 - 139
Bread and bakery products, millions of tons 18,2 - 11,3 - 9,0 - 7,2
Sugar, thousands of tons 3758 - 3155 - 6077 - 5023
Pasta goods, thousands of tons 1038 - 603 - 704 - 1048
Confectionery goods, thousands of tons 2869 - 1372 - 1628 - 2779
Natural tea, thousands of tons 80,7 - 29,5 - 6,9 - 93,7
Vodka and liquor beverages, millions of decaliters 138 - 123 - 123 - 113
Brandy/Cognac, thousands of decalitres 5921 - 887 - 1749 - 12646
Wine, millions of decalitres 75,7 - 15,2 - 24,1 - 50,1
Fruit wine, millions of decalitres NA - 7,6 - 2,8 - 4,2
Champaigne and sparkling wines, millions of decalitres 8,3 - 8,2 - 6,8 - 19,4
Beer, millions of decalitres 336 - 213 - 516 - 1091
Mineral water, millions of decalitres 44,2 - 27,6 - 98,5 - 399
Soft drinks, millions of decalitres 288 - 84,7 - 214 - 548
Cigarettes, billions of pieces 151 - 141 - 348 - 416

Notice how in almost every area of food production there was a severe decline in the 1990s, before the country could afford to replace domestic production with imports with petrodollars. Also notice that things like unprocessed meats, milk, butter, flour, groat grain and bread remain below their 1990 level in 2009, while the production of cheaper foods like vegetable oils, canned goods, and processed meats increased. Also note the dramatic rise in production of of alcohol, and of cigarettes. Remember as well that 1990 was a terrible year for the USSR economically, so if the Russian Federal Service of State Statistics had chosen say 1985 as a baseline measurement contemporary Russia would look even worse off.

Russian historian and sociologist Sergei Kara-Murza has written a great deal about the destruction of the Soviet Union, including a book along with Sergei Aksenenko entitled "The Soviet Order" in 2010 discussing the economy and its foundations. There are a few interesting quotations in the book about deficits:

Discussing a recent Russian television program comparing the Soviet and Russian economy, he notes:

Quote:
"[It was said that] under the Soviet system it was impossible to live because of the deficit. But now in Russia at least there is no deficit.

Well what can one say? After all, on the screen we just saw the figures about production in Soviet years and today [presumably similar, or perhaps even the same figures cited above]. How can this be, I ask? There was a lot of milk, and this is called deficit. There became half as much, and now there is no deficit, but abundance. But the word "deficit" means "lack". So apparently it is more important to see milk in the store than to see it on the dining table. More than this, it is evident that the current "abundance" is fake. If people were suddenly given a [decent] salary, all the products would be gone from the shelves in two days (and this is what happened in 1996, where before the election, in order to appease voters the government gave out pay and pensions)."


There are many other interesting ideas and facts in the book, discussing for instance catering, and how in 1990 84 million people enjoyed catering services in school, various industrial enterprises, construction, transportation, security services, state farms, etc. These services were provided free or with significantly subsidized prices. The authors note that these 'invisible' channels of food distribution, including catering and the products of private farming

Quote:
"explained the 'mystery' which Western experts pretended not to see, about why despite the "deficit" of some food products at the retail level, the real level of consumption of these products in most of the western Soviet Union was very high."


Another interesting note, discussing the artificial nature of deficits for many products:

Quote:
“[T]he deficit could easily have been liquidated within the planned economy. And the reason for its existence in the Soviet Union did not have anything to do with planning. The reasons are generally non-economic in nature. The fact is that the Soviet leadership knew how to fix the deficit –through higher prices, but deliberately did not go that route, allowing it only as a last resort. Such a path was considered inhumane. Prices increased only on luxury items, while those on essentials were lowered. The reason is that the Soviet state was drawn to the simple, working people, who constituted the vast majority of the population.”
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Jul 2011, 11:37
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 25 Mar 2012, 11:34
True. Socialist economies had some "deficit" in the shops but no deficit in the stomach. Even Poland with their almost-always empty shops had a calorie consumption more than 3000 Kilocalories a day per capita.

My uncle knows a guy who went on a big tour of Africa, from south to north. He says that while there were full supermarkets there, and rich people with SUVes, the ordinary people had to go tens of kilometers just for water and suffer shortages of virtually everything. This is the true perversity of a capitalist economy. Even when a famine occurs in a capitalist country, the shops are always full. Under socialism, some shops are empty, under capitalism, many human stomachs are empty. Capitalists don't care for poor people starving to death under their "best" system, all they care is about the appearances and shiny full shops.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 24 Jun 2011, 08:37
Party Bureaucrat
Post 26 Mar 2012, 15:02
Same reason american hospitals have less waiting lists. Once you cut big parts of the population out of the picture, everyone else is fine.
Soviet America is Free America!

Under communism, there is no freedom; you are not free to live in poverty, be homeless, to be without an education, to starve, or to be without a job
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Mar 2012, 00:06
Unperson
Post 28 Mar 2012, 14:46
Breadlines are easy to solve. In a span of 1 day or 2, it can easily be resolved. Just allocate manpower and resources to it. Take them away from rapid industrialization for a few weeks then there's plenty. How would you resolve hunger and famine in capitalist countries. A hungry or homeless man on the streets for example. Can you resolve his situation by allocating manpower and resources to him. They're all TAKEN! By the capitalists! Sometimes, mentally ill persons like me are far logical than a few normal morons. No offense to anybody..
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Sep 2005, 13:48
Embalmed
Post 29 May 2012, 15:30
Quote:
Neuron is correct. In the USSR queuing for basic goods like bread began in the Gorbachev period as a direct result of the destruction of the planning system.


In an episode of USSR UP (a British series that catches up with a group of children born in the USSR every seven years) they showed past footage of them from around 1990 and one young boy was seen being told there would be no milk available that day and another was of a young girl complaining about the leaders of that time "Perestroika! Perestroika! When are they going to feed us!?"
Now what is this…
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Jul 2011, 11:37
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 29 May 2012, 20:10
Cappies don't care that there was jack shit to eat in the USSR during the era of Gorbachev and his Perestroika, they praise him for "freedom of speech" ever through he used the same Leninist propaganda methods as the other leaders, except this time, he used them to propagate capitalism. In the "hardline dictatorships" as the capitalists call 1980s GDR or CSSR everybody had plenty of food to eat even in 1989 right before the goverments fell.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 01 Nov 2003, 13:17
Ideology: Other
Forum Commissar
Post 02 Jun 2012, 18:50
Was the situation improving in Romania by the late 1980s?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Jul 2011, 11:37
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 03 Jun 2012, 16:22
Political Interest wrote:
Was the situation improving in Romania by the late 1980s?


Actually no. It was the worst at the end of the 1980s. In the 1984-1989 many people actually have gone hungry in Romania. It was even worse than Gorbachev's USSR. The reason why GDR and other more "old style" ML states had little economical problems was because they retained sensible economic policies instead of wrecking everything. Caucescau was extremely dependant on foreign capitalism, that is why Romania got into heavy debt and became a hungry polluted hellhole.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 01 Nov 2003, 13:17
Ideology: Other
Forum Commissar
Post 03 Jun 2012, 18:12
Quote:
Actually no. It was the worst at the end of the 1980s. In the 1984-1989 many people actually have gone hungry in Romania. It was even worse than Gorbachev's USSR. The reason why GDR and other more "old style" ML states had little economical problems was because they retained sensible economic policies instead of wrecking everything. Caucescau was extremely dependant on foreign capitalism, that is why Romania got into heavy debt and became a hungry polluted hellhole.


I am not very familiar with Romania, how was Ceaucsescu dependent on foreign capitalism? Is it true the country was producing enough food but that he chose to export it all to pay for loans?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Jul 2011, 11:37
Ideology: Other Leftist
Pioneer
Post 04 Jun 2012, 10:57
Political Interest wrote:
I am not very familiar with Romania, how was Ceaucsescu dependent on foreign capitalism? Is it true the country was producing enough food but that he chose to export it all to pay for loans?


Yes, that exactly. And unlike other socialist countries that took some loans but much smaller ones, he was not using the loaned money to improve the living standard like say Hungary, he was using it to build his palaces.
Soviet cogitations: 2408
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 01 Nov 2003, 13:17
Ideology: Other
Forum Commissar
Post 05 Jun 2012, 18:37
Quote:
Yes, that exactly. And unlike other socialist countries that took some loans but much smaller ones, he was not using the loaned money to improve the living standard like say Hungary, he was using it to build his palaces.


A very stupid man. Playing with his government almost.
Soviet cogitations: 9
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 25 Aug 2012, 18:08
Unperson
Post 25 Aug 2012, 23:47
The heck, the Old Soviet Union then was at war, the Cold War. There were no shortages in USA, yes. But they were 1 trillion dollars in debt. If you try to offset each, it appeared that the Soviet Union was a better place to live. There was full employment. There was economic security. See the beggars of New York?
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