I found this an interesting parallel (and contrast) to the current situation in China …

Yahoo! News – How Russia Went Down A Dead End: “before the Bolshevik Revolution, Russia’s was the fastest-growing economy in Europe. Industrial production doubled in just 15 years, productivity was up by half. Russia was a contender in steel, textiles and oil. It had a popularly elected Parliament, the Duma. A large and growing peasant population were becoming landowning farmers. Its middle-class, capitalist sector was asserting itself. ‘On the eve of (WWI) Russia was quite rapidly entering an era of prosperity.’ So wrote Leonard Schapiro, an outstanding scholar of the Russian revolution, adding that what Russian development required was simply more time. “

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