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How Capitalism Sovietized America

From an astonishing 1974 New York Times article reporting on the virtues of Soviet day care: [1]

The very idea that some American women want to stay at home and raise their own children astonished this 30‐year‐old woman. For her, work was the only satisfying outlet. And despite her frequent contact with English speaking foreign tourists, she knew nothing about the range of voluntary and community activities done by nonworking American women.

“Don’t American women want to get out of the house?” she asked one recent visitor to this Ukrainian city. Don’t you want to work? Don’t you want to earn money and get some independence?”

Privately, many educated Soviet mothers take a much more skeptical view of the Soviet day care system and regard the competence of most day care workers as below desirable standards.


The vast majority of Soviet families require the salary of a working wife to make ends meet. Repeatedly, Soviet citizens express astonishment when they learn that an American father can support a family of two, three or four children without his wife’s working. Many are also surprised that American women would willingly have more than one child.

“That is suicide,” said one 40‐year‐old mother, “even with a pre‐school group for our daughter, we have a hard time coping.”

These comments on the article from this Twitter thread by the Manhattan Institute’s Oren Cass [2] nail it:

Cass’s new policy book The Once And Future Worker [3]sounds like it challenges the shibboleths of both the Left and the Right.

57 Comments (Open | Close)

57 Comments To "How Capitalism Sovietized America"

#1 Comment By Tom Mastroianni On February 12, 2019 @ 1:35 pm

Ex-KGB officer and Soviet defector, Yuri Bezmenov, mapped out this whole plan/strategy in an interview he gave in 1984: [4]

If he’s to be believed (and I don’t see why not; he did, after all defect, and died not very long after in 1993 in his early-50s), then everything in this 1974 NYT article is an absolute sham. The individuals this journalist interviewed were, no doubt, actors who knowingly parroted this anti-family propaganda.

What has the NYT done since then to earn our trust or demonstrate any kind of credibility?

#2 Comment By Fr. Bill Taylor On February 12, 2019 @ 1:59 pm

Hope you took a lot of these comments to heart, Rod, especially the suggestion that you define exactly what you mean by socialism. I remember the push to allow women to work so their added income could help a couple buy a house. In no time, the price of a house was sky high. Capitalism pushes everything to the limit. Only the 1% flourishes, as they suck all the money out of the hands of the middle and lower classes.

[NFR: Reminder: in a recent comment, you said Cuba is a good model for us to follow. — RD]

#3 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On February 12, 2019 @ 4:29 pm

Everyone stop back a minute, think about the optimism of the Crunchy Cons era, and examine how we have sunk to such a dismal level of despair and hysteria.

I say “we” because its not just our gracious host’s problem. I think he’s come 180 degrees from the perspective he offered in Crunchy Cons, but our world and our discourse have spiraled out of control as well.

#4 Comment By muad’dib On February 12, 2019 @ 8:59 pm

Love the commentaries…

But the basic fact of life is that the average women will live be 80 years old and will spend at most 10 years child rearing. The first twenty odd years getting an education, followed by a few years single life, marriage and couple of kids in their late 20’s early 30’s, done with child raising by their late 30’s early 40’s (kids are ending grammar school & headed to middle school). What are they suppose to do for the next 25 to 30 years before retirement?

It’s not like the average modern woman is having 10 to 15 kids between the age of 20 and 45.

#5 Comment By Liam On February 13, 2019 @ 8:20 am


The cognitive bias is when one’s “world” is mostly defined in reference to data points derived from the virtual experience thereof.

#6 Comment By JonF On February 13, 2019 @ 8:42 am

Siarlys, you’re onto as something. Why have we all, Right and Left and middle, become so pessimistic? Everywhere I see the same Can’t Do spirit. It underlies much of the anger in our politics, and it’s the foundation on which the cult of Trump as Superman is built (we can’tdo anything ourselves so we need a superhero). In too many places I see people concluding that either there’s only one possible future and nothing we do matters, or at best there’s a dichotomy of options, one leading to hell the other to nirvana. No, people, there are many possible futures and we have the ability to choose where we’re going, even if God or karma sometimes throws curve balls at us. This weird helplessness causes me more dismay than any amount of crazy stuff, even more than actual violence. What’s wrong with people? Why do so many cling to an insecurity blanket of helpless despair?

#7 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On February 13, 2019 @ 2:05 pm

The cognitive bias is when one’s “world” is mostly defined in reference to data points derived from the virtual experience thereof.

Liam, the intent of this sentence is quite murky. But taking a guess, the operative word seems to be “virtual.” As distinct from “actual real world experience”?