Marx was very clear that socialism requires worker ownership over the means of production via democracy. Workers did not own or control the means of production in the USSR. There was no democracy in the USSR. Therefore, the USSR was not socialist.
It was also definitely not communist either. Communism is classless, stateless, democratic and worker-controlled. The Fujian tulou of China are an example of true communism: True Anarcho-Communism
Terminology has gotten so confusing. Soviet-style socialism had absolutely nothing to do with Karl Marx’s original manifesto aside from using it to justify illegitimate forms of control. China being more of a free market that is run by an all powerful autocratic élite is now the complete opposite of what Karl Marx had envisioned for communism. American liberalism is pure subservience – pushing for every “liberal,” “humanitarian” cause that doesn’t actually question unnecessary institutions of power.
(Other glaring misnomers are Hitler’s National “Socialist” Party and The “Democratic” People’s Republic of Korea (who have a surprisingly cute website I should add.))
I think I might be adding to this confusion, so I want to make myself quite clear:
I condemn traditional forms of capitalism that try to keep people poor arbitrarily and unnecessarily. The only type of “capitalism” I uphold is High-Efficiency Capitalism.
Beyond High-Efficiency Capitalism is one other type of economic system I think is both feasible and ethical which us pure collectivism because it provides exponential benefit for all involved when people properly contribute to it. And those who argue against it and have such a huge problem with such things are most likely the ones incapable of contributing properly, in my opinion.
The exponential stability of teamwork
One problem is that going from our current system to pure collectivism (which again has absolutely nothing to do with Soviet Russia seeing as how true collectivism has no dictator) is like turning a balloon inside out. High-Efficiency Capitalism would actually be an amazing way to catalyze such a transition which in reality is inevitable because that’s how groups of organisms naturally stabilize in the environment anyway. (The last few thousands years of human civilization mean diddly-squat compared to the millions of years that species spend approaching a stable group dynamic, in my opinion.)
Why is redistribution of wealth in Sweden not causing the bread lines and abject poverty seen in the Soviet Union during “communist” rule?
Additionally, with how broken the economy and human society/civilization is at this point, would trying something new and giving “providing the basic necessities of life” a chance really be the worst thing imaginable?