I believe Karl Marx said the economic system of a country is the foundation from which all else springs: politics, culture, education . . . . everything springs from the economic base and arises in service to that base. If that is true, can it be said correctly that Russia and China did it backward and paid a price for the error? They both seized political power and then attempted to use that power to establish a socialist economy. In other words, they attempted to prove that the economy can arise from a political base. Beginning, instead, with worker-owned co-ops starts right off establishing a socialist economy. It provides time for problems in the strategy and techniques to be worked out. It provides time for sympathetic politicians to come on the scene and help advance the effort, and from what I see the conservatives don't mind it at all since a co-op is a business. So, can it be correctly said that Russia and China got it backward?
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