The Soviet Union lasted from 1917 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. During this time it enforced poli...
The Soviet Union lasted from 1917 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. During this time it enforced policies of collectivized agriculture that caused famine, resulting in the death of millions of people throughout the Soviet Union. While most farm land was confiscated to form huge state-owned farms, privately owned garden plots were permitted. These garden plots made up less than 1% of the Soviet Union's cultivated land, but they produced an incredible 27% of the total Soviet farm output. The privately-owned garden plots produced food out of all proportion to their size and saved millions of Soviet citizens from death by starvation. Meanwhile, the massive collectivized farms reported crop failures year after year in spite of brutal and deadly methods employed by the government to increase production.
When Mao Tse-tung's Communists came to power in China, they used Soviet advisers to establish policies for the collectivization of Chinese agriculture. As in the Soviet Union, tens of millions died of starvation as a result of abolishing private farms.
Cuba provides a more recent example of the consequences of a socialist economy. In 1993 Cuba reported an epidemic of 34,000 Cubans who had gone blind. The epidemic was traced to vitamin deficiencies and malnutrition caused by the failure of Cuba's state-operated farms and economy.
Castro meanwhile has promised to adhere faithfully to the policies of socialism, no matter the cost to the people of Cuba.