I never tire of these quotes.
In 1982, the learned Sovietologist Seweryn Bialer of Columbia University
wrote in Foreign Affairs, "The Soviet Union is not now, nor will it be
during the next decade, in the throes of a true systemic crisis, for it
boasts enormous unused reserves of political and social stability." This
view was seconded that same year by historian and eminence grise Arthur
Schlesinger, Jr., who observed that "those in the United States who think
the Soviet Union is on the verge of economic and social collapse [are]
wishful thinkers" who are only "kidding themselves."
John Kenneth Galbraith, the distinguished Harvard economist, wrote in 1984:
"That the Soviet system has made great material progress in recent years is
evident both from the statistics and from the general urban scene.... One
sees it in the appearance of well-being of the people on the streets.... and
the general aspect of restaurants, theaters, and shops.... Partly, the
Russian system succeeds because, in contrast with the Western industrial
economies, it makes full use of its manpower."
Equally imaginative was the assessment of Paul Samuelson of the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Nobel laureate in economics,
writing in the 1985 edition of his widely used textbook: "What counts is
results, and there can be no doubt that the Soviet planning system has been
a powerful engine for economic growth.... The Soviet model has surely
demonstrated that a command economy is capable of mobilizing resources for
James Reston, the renowned columnist of the New York Times, in June 1985
revealed his capacity for sophisticated evenhandedness when he dismissed the
possibility of the collapse of communism on the grounds that Soviet problems
were no different from those of the United States: "It's clear that the
ideologies of Communism, socialism and capitalism are all in trouble."
But the genius award undoubtedly goes to Lester Thurow, economist and
well-known author, who, as late as 1989, wrote, "Can economic command
significantly ... accelerate the growth process? The remarkable performance
of the Soviet Union suggests that it can. Today it is a country whose
economic achievements bear comparison with those of the United States."
Remember this next time an intellectual elitist opens his trap.