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Old 10-10-2020, 11:57 AM
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Raellus Raellus is offline
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Default The People's Life Support Machine

If the Soviet Union would have transitioned to a ChiCom style state-controlled capitalist economy in the late 1980s, perhaps it could have held out until the mid 1990s. It's certainly worked amazingly well for the PRC.

Also, if the Berlin Wall hadn't come down, the USSR might have been able to hold on (since the East Block provided captive markets for Soviet goods). So perhaps a corollary question is how could Eastern Europe have weathered the economic/social storm of the late 1980s?

On a side note, I just finished a documentary on an assassination-style murder of the West German official in the former East Germany shortly after the Berlin Wall came down. I knew the the former DDR remained economically depressed for decades after reunification, but the documentary revealed that there were major protests against the crash course of capitalist market reforms that were imposed by the Bonn government. At one point during the first phase of the privatization and liquidation of state-owned/run industries, unemployment in the former DDR was at 50%, and a lot of East Germans were aching for the return of socialism. There is some evidence that the remnants of the Stasi were trying to foment a revolution during that time as well. Imagine a low-intensity civil war in Germany in the early 1990s. That would be something the USSR/Russia could have exploited.

Did the Gulf War (1991) impact oil prices? I was living overseas and not of driving age yet, so I don't recall. If so, that could explain the survival of the East Bloc (assuming it could have made it that far).

Maybe there was a valuable resource (oil, REE, fissile material) in the disputed border (w/ China) region. That could help explain both the survival of the USSR and the Sino-Soviet War that started in 1995 (IIRC).

A Youtuber, in a recent critique of the v1 timeline, proposed a Soviet discovery of fusion power in the mid-1980s or something like that to explain its post-coup revival but that premise, IMHO, is unrealistically fanciful given that humanity still hasn't figured that tech out yet.

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Last edited by Raellus; 10-10-2020 at 12:02 PM.
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