To say that “socialism doesn’t work” is to overlook the fact that it did. In Eastern Europe, Russia, China, Mongolia, North Korea, and Cuba, revolutionary communism created a life for the mass of people that was far better than the wretched existence they had endured under feudal lords, military bosses, foreign colonizers, and Western capitalists. The end result was a dramatic improvement in living conditions for hundreds of millions of people on a scale never before or since witnessed in history.
But what of the democratic rights that these peoples were denied? In fact, with the exception of Czechoslovakia, these countries had known little political democracy in the days before communism. Russia was a czarist autocracy, Poland a rightist dictatorship with concentration camps of its own, Albania an Italian fascist protectorate as early as 1927, Cuba a U.S sponsored dictatorship. Lithuania, Hungary, Rumania, and Bulgaria were outright fascist regimes allied with Nazi Germany in World War II."
Michael Parenti, Blackshirts and Reds (via partyapparatchik)
man only someone who never actually lived in those places would say that