With the US president in full diversion mode ( Look! Gay marriage!) not a day goes by without some pundit , blogger or serial commenter stating that communism has been a failure everywhere is has been tried. This is 'common knowledge' and 'accepted fact' everywhere in the western world. It isn't actually true though, and I'll tell you why.
The conditions for the peasant class in Tsarist Russia were a nightmare. Work was hard to get and devastating when lost. Unemployment meant starvation or death due to exposure. There was no potential for advancement out of abject poverty, and no justice for those inhabiting the low rungs on Russia's ladder.
Trotsky, Lenin et al promised the peasants (serfs) a better life: security of food and shelter, equal justice under the law and a share in the overall prosperity of the nation. These promises were for the most part delivered. Communist Russia did provide food and shelter to all, and every citizen obtained a share of the country's prosperity. As for equal justice well, not so much. Of course, equal justice has not existed and does not exist in most countries in this world including the USA , UK and Canada.
Now, to be clear, I am no fan of socialism or communism. I do not adhere to the common mantra that they are " beautiful ideas" that just don't work in the real world. They are antithetical to humanity because by definition they remove individual rights and responsibility in favour of the collective. They are a beautiful idea in the same way that slavery is a good business model.
The fact remains, however that communist Russia delivered on it's promises to the serf masses. They were better off than they were under the Tsars. There a quite a few western governments who have failed to do as much. Relatively speaking of course, communism served Russians less well (by far) than the republics and democracies of it's neighbours served their peoples. Prosperity wise communist countries performed poorly, due mainly to human nature. Corruption, militarism and totalitarian leadership further degraded the communist 'experiment' until it became a bogey man for the west.
I realize that I am open to accusations of nit picking here but I think facts matter. In that vein does it bother anyone else out there that some people on national (albeit cable) news shows believe that Putin is a dictator, ruling a communist Russia, wherein people have no human rights?