By Caleb T. Maupin
Published Aug 15, 2010 10:26 PM
The Central Intelligence Agency, a ruthless enforcer of Wall Street’s drive for profits, publishes “The World Factbook.” It gives updated statistics for every country, some of which measure quality of life and societal health, such as life expectancy, infant mortality, literacy, unemployment and industrial production. In this series, Workers World examines some surprising conclusions, all using the CIA’s own statistics. Even though these statistics often understate gains compared to United Nations figures, they can’t help but show that countries benefit by breaking with imperialism.
When the Soviet Union dissolved and the socialist countries of Eastern Europe experienced counterrevolutions, the press proclaimed that the “free market” would bring prosperity to the people there. The media claimed that the collapse of the USSR was due not to 72 years of hot and cold war against the socialist regime, but to an inherent flaw in socialism.
They claimed that now that capitalism had returned to the USSR and Eastern Europe, prosperity and increased quality of life would ensue.
Statistics show that the actual results of the massive counterrevolutions were otherwise.
Belarus is the only country in the former USSR still attempting to maintain a socialist economic model. The rest of the former USSR and Eastern Europe have largely succumbed to the economics of the “free market.”
National infant mortality rates are universally recognized as basic quality of life barometers. The socialist economy of Belarus has achieved a relatively low infant mortality rate of 6.34 deaths per 1,000 births in the first year. Estonia, Hungary, Slovakia, Lithuania and Poland all have higher infant mortality than socialistic Belarus. The infant mortality rate in capitalist Ukraine is 8.73.
Capitalist Georgia, whose pro-Western regime attacked Russia in 2008, has a very high infant mortality rate of 15.67, while Bulgaria’s infant mortality is 17.26.
The highest infant mortality in Eastern Europe is suffered by Romania. Romania was the victim of a brutal capitalist counterrevolution in 1989 and its president was executed. Under the free market, the infant mortality rate has climbed to 22.09.
It seems that the restoration of capitalism in Eastern Europe has hardly been an “economic miracle.” Almost 20 years after the collapse, Eastern Europe has entered the “free world” of high infant mortality and shorter life expectancies.
It seems that Belarus, dubbed “the last Soviet Republic” by Western media, and demonized for its refusal to adopt capitalist economics, has a much better quality of life than the regimes that “reformed” themselves into the system of free-market chaos and impoverishment.
More to come
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