On this episode of “Divided we Fall” we discuss the economy and the Left’s overall failure to draft a meaningful economic program that would give people a sense of how a departure from a capitalist regime would look.
Again, this speaks to the problems we’ve been discussing in previous episodes. One of them is that the Left refuses to learn from its past. In the 20th century, the USSR and the Soviet Bloc were a phenomenon many on the western Left looked up to. Some were critical, and some praised this model, but once this experiment came to an end in the early 1990s, no specific conclusions were drawn, or at least not to the extent that would enable us to put forward a modern and viable concept of a socialist economy.
Pat Byrne and Boyan Stanislavski discuss the notion of planning an economy as a means to overcome the unpredictable, anarchic and utterly unjust rule of the so-called “free market.” Also, they speak about the difference between a planned and a command economy; the latter is a more accurate description of the Soviet model, the bottom line of which was actually the policy developed and implemented between 1918 and 1921 during the war against revolutionary Russia. It was called “war communism” and it was a wartime strategy, which failed during peacetime and led to the enormous economic stagnancy in the USSR in the 1980s.
Pat and Boyan also deliberate on the Chinese economic model, which is based on five-year plans. It’s a very different phenomenon from the one that used to be in place in the Soviet Bloc. Since Deng Xiaoping’s reforms in the 1970s, things in the PRC went in a completely different direction and allowed the creation of a truly booming economy, which is on a path to outcompete the American one as the top economic player in the world. Also, Chinese society is developing at an astonishing rate, in science, industry and culture. The Left is ignoring that, so far.
In this episode, Pat and Boyan discuss how the Left could present a coherent economic program.
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