Did the Soviet bloc have a free market system?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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No, the countries of the Soviet bloc did not have market economies at any point.  The Soviet Union was a communist country.  It required its satellite states to have communist systems as well.  The communist system is the polar opposite of a market system.

A market system is one in which people are able to own property and are able to do whatever they want (with some exceptions) with that property.  The people get to essentially decide what will happen in the economy.  They do this through their buying decisions.  This is the sort of system that we in the United States have.  This is very much the opposite of the communist economic system.

Communist countries have what are called “command economies.”  In a command economy, the government makes all the decisions about the economy.  It decides what sorts of goods will get produced.  It typically does not allow people to have much in the way of property.  This is a system in which people have very little say in what happens in their economy.

So, the Soviet bloc did not have a market system.  Instead, it had a communist, command economic system.