More right quoting “Men among the ruins”
The preliminary condition would naturally be the overcoming of the typical situation in democracies, where the political element makes promiscuous alliances with the plutocratic element, opening itself to corruption and pretending to represent a “Right” in opposition to Marxism. Again, the pure political power must be released from every bond—first from the bonds of capitalism, and then from those of the economy
This is, the state released from every bond, is the old communist fantasy. If the state is released from every bond, it can decree that everything be lovely.
The state does so. Strangely, everything fails to be lovely. Obviously evil people, wreckers, are disobeying the decree. They must found and destroyed. Then everything will be lovely.
But things still are not lovely. Obviously there must even more wreckers, who must be sought out even more vigorously and destroyed even more thoroughly.
At some point Stalin declares that Utopia has arrived, notwithstanding appearances to the contrary, thereby stopping the madness, or Vietnam invades Cambodia, thereby stopping the madness.
The state cannot be free from the bonds of capitalism, because it needs money and goods, and therefore needs capitalists to tax and to purchase technology from. As for being free from the bonds of the economy, we saw how that worked out for the communists.
Reality is that for the reasons explained by Mises and Hayek, and colorfully dramatized by Ayn Rand, the state cannot directly run the economy, nor directly sponsor science. Private individuals, with private wealth, have to be free to create wealth and knowledge, without which the state has nothing to tax, and no means to pay the army, nor any source for the technology to equip the army.
The state is at best a stationary bandit that keeps mobile bandits at bay. If it consumes everything, it destroys itself. Stalinist Russia kept itself afloat on an illegal but essential and tolerated black market, by letting capitalism that it had thrown out the front door in by the back door and by seizing and pillaging additional capitalist economies.
Stalin’s successors faced an ever more serious conflict between ideology – that everything should be devoured – and reality – that they needed the market and wealthy people, a conflict that gradually became more serious as no more advanced economies fell under their power.
Which eventually led to the open abandonment of the “seize everything” ideology