IMO I think a lot of socialists need to focus on… well coming up with more solutions to the collapse of the soviet union. I’m not an expert on it, but I know enough basic history to know… the soviet union imploded. Fact is a lot of the first world capitalist countries are stuck in the propoganda of “we tried it, it failed”. The reality is like every system and every event in history, they did some good things and some bad things, and a propor system takes the good, refines it, finds the bad parts and cut it out.
At least to my really limited history knowledge, I’m sure a large part of it was the dick waving contest with the US and capitalist countries. Obviously Lysenkoism was an extreme case of horrid stupidity that made the food supply chains 100x worse.
The point is, if we want to sell the world on communism, we can’t just point to things and say “See USSR did this, and it was good”, without making a case for it having done good in the USSR, and not allow it to be assumed to be part of the collapse of the USSR.
I think it’s useful to look at the things USSR did right as well as things USSR tried to strive for as an inspiration. I agree that it’s also important to discuss the failures of USSR, and what can be done better going forward.
Nobody is really arguing that we should just follow USSR model blindly. It was the first attempt at creating a socialist society, and it existed under duress from the capitalist world throughout its whole existence. USSR was invaded by western powers in 1918, then it was plunged into WW2 a couple of decades later, and then the Cold War right after. A lot of the problems stem directly from the fact that it was never allowed to develop peacefully.
That said, there were obvious problems with USSR leadership as well. The party became bureaucratic and detached from the people over time. I think that the problem of having good leadership that’s being held to account by the people is worth focusing on going forward.