An Important History Lesson: The Truth About the Collapse of the Soviet UnionSubmitted by Marc Clair on Wed, 03/27/2013 - 15:40
"The collapse of the Soviet Union should have come as no surprise to anyone who understands economics, especially Austrian economics." - Robert Wenzel
Robert Wenzel, through his website EconomicPolicyJournal.com is fast becoming one of my most relied upon sources for serious analysis of not only economics, but also politics, current events and history. Two weeks ago we posted a fascinating interview Wenzel conducted with Robert Morrow and Judy Morris about the little discussed 1967 Israeli attack on the U.S.S. Liberty.
And now here today, we have a history lesson from Wenzel himself. Last week he delivered the Henry Hazlitt Keynote Lecture at the Austrian Economics Research Conference. This speech is absolutely compelling and a must watch for anyone interested in history or libertarianism. It is clear that an extraordinary amount of research went into this speech, and Wenzel delivers it to the audience in his usual no-nonsense-sprinkled-with-sarcasm manner.
The main thesis of this speech is that the official reason we hear for the collapse of the Soviet Union - the idea that Ronald Reagan's determined strength to build up the U.S. military had forced the Soviet Union to try to keep up and ushered in their economic bankruptcy in their attempt to keep up - is a complete myth.
This myth has been used to justify the huge military expenditures that we see to this. This buildup has since enabled the United States to embark on all sorts of wars against smaller nations. The neoconservatives wanted the ability to quickly and decisively crush smaller nations that it found troublesome. This huge military was never used against the Soviet Union, but smaller countries such as Grenada, Panama and Iraq.
So what was the real reason for the collapse of the Soviet Union? The answer can be summed up in one word: socialism.