The socialist ideology promised equality, fraternity, and prosperity. Did it keep its promise? Did it deliver equality? The answer is no. Many people in the West will say, although they say it less often now, “Well, yes, of course they wait in lines in Poland or the Soviet Union, but they have a sense of solidarity; they are more equal; there is less income disparity.” That’s nonsense. If you compare the standard of living of the average citizen of East Germany, the richest of the fraternal nations of the socialist camp, with that of the party members who lived in Wandlitz, the neighborhood of the party elite, you find incredible disparities of income-but until recently they were kept secret. Similarly, if you look at the 22 palaces of the Ceaucescu family in Romania, or the sports complexes in Bulgaria that were only for members of the Zhivkov family, or the dachas of the Soviet party elite, you find more inequality than in the market societies of the West.

Fascinating and illuminating. A contemporary discussion of the collapse of the Soviet Bloc in its immediate aftermath…via Why Socialism Collapsed in Eastern Europe | Cato Institute.