Of all people, I would be the last to forget about Sputnik,
Gagarin first in space (I met him, not there!), their leads in
Arctic exploration and shipping, in painless childbirth, and much
else. Knowing those things was my profession. But it was also my
business to learn, and to tell my KPFA audiences, that the
country that had led the world in building the world's largest
and most powerful long-distance aircraft later lost out in the
passenger transport industry because the inefficiencies of that
society led to an inability to make engines that could compete
with ours. The absence of a market led to an inability to
understand that plastics could and should replace steel in many
fields and, above all, a failure to get into mass production of
computers although they already had some of the most powerful in
order to do their Sputnik calculations.
I don't like boom-boxes. I don't have a cell phone. But I
don't want a society that will dictate to others that they can't
As to Baran and Sweezy, I beg to differ. Sweezy got stars in
his eyes over Mao's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.
Baran's prediction of a stagnant capitalism is obvious nonsense.
> To say that socialist economies cannot succeed
> at technological innovation is bizarre.
> Someone has forgotten about Sputnik.
> Additionally, the Soviets were the first
> to send a man into space. For several
> years the US was frantically trying to
> match them.
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