Leftists who sneer at Conservatives who call Obama a socialist don’t know Socialism. The costruction of the “progressive” states of the East Block was incremental, and peppered with euphemisms about democracy and even fake opposition parties to demonstrate that they were in reality pluralistic.
It all began with creeping nationalization.
The Second Five-Year Plan committed East Germany to accelerated efforts toward agricultural collectivization and completion of the nationalization of the industrial sector. By 1958 the agricultural sector still consisted primarily of the 750,000 privately owned farms that comprised 70 percent of all arable land; only 6,000 Agricultural Cooperatives (Landwirtschaftliche Produktionsgenossenschaften--LPGs) had been formed. In 1958-59 the SED subjected private farmers to quota pressures and sent agitation teams to villages in an effort to encourage "voluntary" collectivization. The teams used threats, and in November and December 1959 resisting farmers were arrested by the SSD. By mid-1960 nearly 85 percent of all arable land was incorporated in more than 19,000 LPGs; state farms comprised another 6 percent. By 1961 the socialist sector produced 90 percent of East Germany's agricultural products. An extensive economic management reform by the SED in February 1958 included the transfer of a large number of industrial ministries to the State Planning Commission. In order to accelerate the nationalization of industry, the SED offered entrepreneurs 50-percent partnership incentives for transforming their firms into VEBs. At the close of 1960, private enterprise controlled only 9 percent of total industrial production. Production Cooperatives (Produktionsgenossenschaften--PGs) incorporated one-third of the artisan sector during 1960-61, a rise from 6 percent in 1958.Overraught? No. For one thing, I lived in the DDR and find the US left’s intelligentsia to be promoting IDENTICAL rhetoric. Even with the irony of Lavrenti Beria, the brutal intelligence chief telling the East Germans that they needed a freer market (Tito-like) solution to the poverty that was threatening the newly founded state, the adherents sticking to Stalinism long after the Soviets had painfully purged themselves of it pressed on. They pressed on in underhanded ways that seemed to boil the frog in subtle little steps which within 3 years, a time shorter than one US presidential term, to transform a society into an oppressive command state flouting it’s own Constitutional protections (such as that of Labor action) rather flagrantly.