Greetings comrades. I'm asking a question on how well the East German (or other bloc countries) economy performed. Currently, I have not found anything not pro-capitalist out there that doesn't talk about either how people wanted to leave east Germany or how it somehow was "backwards" and less "prosperous" than west Germany.
I'm wondering the same - why was East Germany economically worse off than West, North Korea worse than South etc.? This is one of the anticommunists' arguments I have the hardest time countering, so have a bump
Any books that analyze the economies of the Eastern Bloc countries would be great tbh. I've been meaning to get "Economic History of the Soviet Union" by Alexander Nove. Has anyone read that? Is it good?
Personally, I don't know a lot about east germany, but we need to remember that them just like n. korea were economically blockaded and sabotaged by western nations. Also, east germany had much more rebuilding to do after the war than west germany, which also is an important factor.
Good point. However, most capitalist papers and information out there do not take this into view, instead ignoring it and trying to make it seem like instead it's because the country is socialist.
east germany got it better than the less visible countries, it's like pyongyang in nork, the rest were sources of raw materials, or just kept around for strategic reasons
I don't have sources at hand, so it is best that you research this yourself. Don't just take my word for it. West Germany was far more vast, with more resources, and the Marshall Plan to stimulate the devastated economy, whereas East Germany had most of its industry destroyed post war or relocated to Poland, had to suffer through the brunt of German reparations, and had no such economic stimulation.
In spite of this, I read a supposed (READ: SUPPOSED. RESEARCH THIS FOR YOURSELF) Treuhand report showing that, whilst East Germany had a much smaller economy, growth was generally in parity with the west. It is important to remember that all the ML states were closed off and secretive, so reports written prior to or during their collapses will be rife with speculation and bias. Keep your research to official German government documents and the reports of the organizations handling the DDR's economic transition.
The GDR had a faster economic growth than the FRG. pdf related is a statistic computer by a former chief economic planner who worked for both the GDR and the FRG after 1991 and whose statistics are cited by in the German Center for Political Education, which provides textbooks for schools and universities.
The GDR didn't have as much consumer goods as the West because it didn't get the Marshal Plan treatment and had to stomach all the reparations to the USSR after the FRG just bailed out (despite that it was negotiated with the entirety of Germany). It certainly didn't help that it lost its most industrial regions in Silesia and agricultural center in Prussia to Poland.
The GDR had a good chance to progress beyond everything Marxist-Leninist states have achieved, especially in the early 60s due to the cybernetic and heuristic program, but Honecker was a revisionist and pretty much killed that chance.
I'd say Honecker was better than Ulbricht. Ulbricht's new economic policies had SOME decent aspects, but the fundamental reliance on semi privatization, market pricing for staple goods and implementing profit motives were worrying to say the least. In general I'd call the DDR just one big, sad wasted opportunity.
During Ulbrecht's NÖS/NÖSPL firms would still use in-kind indicators for their planning, the only difference was that it was decentralized, to increase productivity and incentivize local management and automation, the problem was that economic growth was almost too fast for the centrally planned infrastructure to keep up with. "Profit" would just mean an effective use of resources and producting things people actually need. Akademie der Marxistisch-Leninistischen Organisationswissenschaften (AMLO) was also a great project, closed down right after Honecker took power.
Under Honecker value-indicators played a larger role than under Ulbricht, despite a centralization of planning, also remember that he killed the cybernetics and automatization program to keep bureaucrats in power, tried to engage in a "consumer goods race" with the FRG financed by western loans bringing the GDR down to Romania tier levels of dependency on western money (remember the USSR had almost no foreign debt) and turned a huge chunk of the industry into an export exclave for IKEA. In 1988, as the USSR went down the shitter, he called for a "socialism in the colors of the GDR", which was probably code for some German form of Dengism. Egon Krenz pursued this concept thinking he could stay into power and underestimated the forces that pushed for reunification. East Germany's problem was the reliance on USSR oil (which became scarce during the Brezhnev era) and generally its small size. I wouldn't call it a wasted opportunity, some things were done very well, others were not, but the reason the GDR fell isn't even because of Honecker, but because of the reliance on the USSR (the same way West Germany relied on the USA, if the USA collapsed the GDR would have annexed the FRG).
Thank you for the clarification, user. I admit that I am not the most knowledgable person when it comes to the DDR, so I go mostly off of the few documents I have read (mostly pre collapse western documents which are mostly clearly biased either for or against) and what enthusiasts for the country have told me. Do you know of any informative English documents on the AMLO or Walter Ulbricht's reforms?
well that's unfortunate. no surprise though considering its similar to what happened in the ussr.
any sources on the german cybernetics program?
It Sacrificed Long Term Viability as a socialist Project in exchange for short term boosts to its standard of living backed with Loans Look up "Consumer communism" and the Consumer goods arms race the FRG / DDR were involved in most of the latters existence
It should have taken a page from Albanias book and activly Banned / Restricted Foreign Loans and focus on achieving Artaurky with what they had
Also Over-Reliance on USSR
Yeah cause autarky and international isolation always work out great like the example of Albania shows us.
being wealthy does not necessarily mean wealth balance. I'm not defending those tankie regimes but this is something very basic.
Why are Capitalist empires wealthier? because they pillage, exploit labor, sell & buy unfairly. But why does all that wealth only gets to 1% of it's population & not really the rest? Because of Capitalism. Capitalism accumulates Capital on a single spot.
Alec Nove's books are on libgen. He was a succdem.
t. capitalist roader
The fact the GDR had high GDP / GDP Growth isnt a good Argument tbh
Measuring Socialist Nations by capitalist standards is a mistake in itself tbh Albania is an excellent Example of this It was "Poorest country in Europe" but at the same time managed to provide a standard of living quite high compared to even most of its Warsaw state contemporaries because it was good at using what it had as efficiently as possible
As the son of two former GDR citizens, it was…bearable. There were no starvations, there was no mass poverty or anything like that. You could go to the supermarket and get food. Just not necessarily the food you wanted, not everything was available at all times. Social Welfare and public services were actually better than they are now in germany, schools and health insurances were much better (Apart from the political indoctrination in schools) and since hospitals and stuff like that weren't privatised the working conditions were generally better. My mum's a nurse and now working in a privatised hospital, there are way too few employees and everyone has to work more than is reasonable. The GDR was by no means a hellhole, it just failed in keeping its populace satisfied both politically and economically.
Not really. I think my dad's family was once questioned because some distant relative fled to the west and later he didn't have to (or wasn't allowed to) guard the border or be stationed near the border because of that. (almost every man had to serve in the NVA) That's pretty much all the contact with the StaSi I know of. My mum's family watched West TV (Which was illegal), but apparently that was never discovered.
Not necessarily a problem if he remains somewhat objective and empirical. Or does he go full screeching socdem mode?
Depends on the book. Those about the USSR are not so bad. His worst is Feasible Socialism, about his muh mixed economy vision.