Both were economic empires controlled by a handful of super rich white guys who became rich and powerful at the expense of the common people. Both used the same basic methods, called by different names. One system has failed, and the other is failing. Lets take a look at the methods, what they were called, and the results.
The Soviet Union used a system of snitches and spies to make sure everyone stayed in line. Every Red Army unit had a “Political Officer” who was not under the control of the Army officer corps. He reported to the Secret Police. His job was to look, listen, and report. He reported conversations, read memos, and monitored the “correct thinking” of the unit. If there was any “incorrect” thinking or speech, it became a matter for the Secret Police. If an officer was involved, he could get years in prison. If it was an enlisted man, terror tactics were used. I traveled behind the Iron Curtain during the Soviet years. Every apartment complex had a guy whose job was simply to look, listen, and report. Incorrect thinking and speech were immediately addressed.
The Corporate System has HR people. They also have a system of snitches. Recently they have begun to install cameras so people can be watched constantly. If you are in management your personal life is under the microscope. You have to toe the corporate line. People watch what they say, and how they say it, because there are consequences for “incorrect” thinking and speech. I worked at P&G in management right out of college. I learned that there is correct behavior and incorrect behavior for “P&G People.” One of the “correct” behaviors for a P&G manager is to be a regular church goer. My boss explained it to me this way” “You are no longer Bob Dewar. You are an up and coming P&G manager. People in your community have expectations of what a P&G manager is. Now I don’t give a rat’s ass about your religous beliefs. But have enough respect for the company to get up on Sunday morning, get a suit and tie on, get your wife dressed for church, go out to your car, wave to your neighbors, make sure they see you. Then go out and eat someplace, or whatever you want. The important point is that people think you are going to church. P&G people all go to church.” P&G People are so distinct in Cincinnati, their home base, that everyone calls them “Proctoids” because they are contolled like robots, fearful of stepping out of line.
The Soviet Union used fear and terror to control. The corporate system uses money. You want a good job, good benefits, a good salary? Then you have to play our game. If you don’t play our game we will can your butt and you won’t be able to live in a nice house, drive a nice car, and provide well for your family.
The Soviet System promised that “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.” The Corporate System promises that if you get a good education, work hard, and are dedicated, you will get a “good job” and be prosperous. A good “Soviet Man” and a good “Corporate Man” are separated only by terminology.
The old Soviet Union lies in ruins. Most of the people are poverty stricken and have lost faith and trust in the system. A handful of very rich ones learned quickly to adapt to capitalism and exploit the collapsing empire by utilizing their connections to take control of resources and exploit the losers from the system.
The failing Corporate System has left a trail of desolation that stretches from Detroit through the coal and steel towns to the nearly bankrupt state of California. A handful of super rich that have plundered the nation and stolen wealth from the people who produced it live in absolute luxury, much as the “new capitalists” in the failed Soviet System. Millions have lost faith and trust in the Corporate System and cry out for socialism as they lose what they have worked for all their lives and were betrayed by false promises.
Building Socialism in the Soviet Union: Millions were enslaved in communes and forced labor camps to enrich the handful of old white guys that controlled everything.
Building Corporatism in the U.S.: In the late 19th and early 20th centuries millions of immigrants came to the U.S. with the promise of freedom and prosperity. They were stuck in coal camps back in the hills, or industrial towns where they worked their lives away and never received the promised prosperity. In the late 20th century and the early 21st century factories were moved to China, Mexico, India and other slave labor nations, and the American work force was abandoned to further enrich the handful of filthy rich white guys at the top. The common working man steadily loses ground and watches any prosperity achieved by his grandparents, parents, and himself slip away in foreclosed houses, stolen pensions, and no medical benefits.
The promise of Communism: Happy workers, who live in a land of equality, will build quality products in great abundance for the masses. Result – Unhappy, enslaved workers that produce junk and there was shortages of everything.
The promise of Corporatism: Competition will result in the best man winning, and products will get better and better because competition will force steadily improving quality. Result – Products get worse every year, including cars that kill people, merchandise that breaks down immediately after the warranty expires, drugs that are more dangerous than the diseases they are supposed to cure.
Soviet attitude toward human beings: Use up and discard.
Corporate attitude toward human beings: Use up and discard.
Political Power in the failed Soviet System: Free elections, but only one candidate on the ballot, and if you do not vote for that candidate you will get a visit from the Secret Police.
Political Power in the failing Corporate System: Free elections with multiple candidates, but each and every candidate is in the back pocket of Big Money and will say whatever the polls tell him he needs to say to get elected. After the election you will never hear from him again until the next election.