How The Soviet Union Could Have Won The Cold War

Wow, it’s been eleven days since I last wrote! That’s what happens when you pack up your stuff, move, and start a brand-new job. I’ve been getting used to getting up and going to work and I’m still trying to fit blogging into my new schedule. Anyway, I am back, attempting to get a regular posting schedule again.

Historian Tom Nichols has a great article on five ways the Soviet Union could have won the Cold War. In this case, he defines “won” as meaning:

Or at the least, could the Soviet Union have survived until today, and remained a viable competitor to the United States while celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution in 2017, or the centennial of the founding of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 2022?

Considering that there are still a very large number of people in the world who wholeheartedly embrace the murderous ideology that is Communism, I’m not wholly convinced that the Soviet Union did lose the Cold War. Yes, the country splintered, but the ideology survives around the world. That’s a post for another day, though.

Of course, Tom’s article leaves us with this thought:

I think the Soviet Union fell because the Soviet idea was as insanely unworkable as the Nazi, Imperial Japanese, Napoleonic and other dreams of imperial conquest. (U.S. policy played a role, too, especially in determining whether the USSR collapsed inward or exploded outward.) The Soviet Union, as former Soviet officer and later Russian historian Dmitri Volkogonov once put it, was hatched by a bunch of vicious but ineffectual intellectuals who had no idea how to govern a country. Soon, they turned on each other and eventually, the revolution ate its own children.

It’s a great article, so go read it.

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4 thoughts on “How The Soviet Union Could Have Won The Cold War

  1. “…Soviet Union fell because the Soviet idea was as insanely unworkable as the Nazi, Imperial Japanese, Napoleonic and other dreams of imperial conquest. (U.S. policy played a role, too, especially in determining whether the USSR collapsed inward or exploded outward.) ”

    Let me just cite one thought of perhaps the most important figure of the revolution:

    “Communism is nothing else but state capitalism” – Vladimir Ulyanov

    1. Can’t say I’d agree, especially considering the source. 🙂 Plus, “state capitalism” is an inherently contradictory term, considering that capitalism entails competition and by definition the state has no competitor.

  2. I think capitalism is about capital. The more capital you have, the more clout, influence you have; therefore, communism is the ultimate capitalism where all the capital is in the hands of a few. Even though officially “everything belongs to the people” – which sounds enticing in theory but in practice all the capital get into the hands of a few…;)

    1. Enticing in theory? I think it’s pretty scary. 😀 Of course, we now have the advantage of knowing how disastrous communism is after everything that happened in the twentieth century…

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