Those of us who were on the front lines know better. I was working for a successful Japanese importing company just before the iron curtain fell. One day, we got a call from the Soviet Embassy inviting us over for a frank talk on what we might be able to buy from them to sell to Japanese consumers. We spent much of the next four days, some of it riding around with them in their own chauffeured limo. It was during this time that they openly criticized their leadership and told us that big changes were coming for the better. This was only a couple of months before the Soviet Union collapsed.
We were dumbfounded about how people could be so smart about technical details like design and finding their way around the streets of Tokyo, so confusing to even many Japanese and long-time residents, but so utterly clueless about the basics of international trade and capitalism.
Thanks, Vigilanteman. Very similar observations to what I saw in Leningrad and Moscow over new years of 1982-83. The system could not compete with the efforts of free people pursuing their own self interests.
All the Best!