Looking at the socialist economies was like seeing reflections in a carnival mirror. Although in some ways these economies resembled our own, they seemed to have been ordered by an alien sensibility. They included elements that looked something like their nonsovietized counterparts: large-scale enterprises, factories, banks, stores, and trade unions. The same sorts of people as ourselves seemed to be in them, apparently engaged in the activities to which we are accustomed. But it was not so.
As a political-economic system, socialism of the Soviet type was strong on politics and very short on economics. It was not simply that political collectivistic exhortation replaced individual economic initiative. A great deal of initiative was actually necessary for survival. Rather, to a large extent, ideological political logic replaced economics. Although grand designs were drawn and realized, industrial output was increased, and an unsurpassed military was constructed,