Is the overall performance of the socialist economic system to be considered as a total failure? Sometimes the system is credited for having brought an underdeveloped country, Russia, out of backwardness, be it at very high material and human costs. Could not another regime have achieved the same results at lesser cost? In Eastern Europe the Soviet model was introduced forcibly; it was not adapted, in any case, to those countries which were industrialised already before the war. The inefficiencies of the model became obvious as early as in the 1950s, triggering a ‘treadmill’ (Schroeder, 1979) of reforms. By the middle of the 1970s an open crisis developed and led to final collapse.
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