You would think the system of Communism like equal pay for all doesn’t incentivise people to explore creativity to invent new products and services. Although it’s true in most Communist nations. Yet, the Soviet Union and lessor extent China manages to innovate.
One thing I know is most of these innovations are closely related to the military, rather than the ordinary everyday people.
How does Communism win against Capitalism?
Communist countries would try to incentivise their people about the evils of capitalism. Persuade them they are on the right side, fighting for justice.
Somehow it worked.
Here are 10 inventions made under Communism:
Communist idea number 1: Light-emitting Diode (LED)
The use of LEDs is everywhere from lighting up the street and in our homes, the LEDs is part of the modern world.
What you don’t know is the discovery of LEDs and its purpose has been around for over 90 years.
In 1927, Oleg Losev became the first person to understand the concept of light-emitting diode (LEDs) and how it works. He even made some suggestions to use LEDs in radio receivers.
The problem was Oleg Losev’s LED research is ahead of his time. It needs the invention of other components such as the transistor for Oleg’s radio idea to work.
N.B.: The invention of the modern-day transistor didn’t come about till 1953.
It wasn’t 50 years later that LED made great strides.
Professor Nick Holonyak who was working for General Electric made the first workable LED in 1962. Unlike the light bulb, the LED bulb has a lot of special applications.
1). They don’t attract as many insects and flies because they emit very little UV light.
2). LEDs provide light for photosynthesis when you LED in deep blue or in hyper red colour.
3). The number of hours on a good LED bulb last 25,000 to 50,000 hours, compared to an incandescent light bulb of 1,500 hours.
4). Then we have the blue LEDs that has strong antibacterial properties on combating food pathogens and keep produce fresh.
Communist idea number 2: Electronic Cigarette
You would have been right to think the E-Cigarette has been around in the last decade and is an alternative to smoking. Yet, the earliest practical E-Cigarette goes back to 1963 when by an American inventor, Herbert A. Gilbert.
However, it wasn’t trendy and fashionable in the 60s and got canned.
Plus, nobody thought it would be the number one cause of cancer as well as other health problems.
The modern modern E-Cigarette was invented by Hon Lik (China) in 2003 after the death of his Dad from smoking. It became popular because of the health risks of traditional tobacco and government regulations. The E-Cigarette feels like an upgrade from paper smoking to electronic smoking. It’s an improvement and innovation from the original invention in the 1960s.
Today, the global revenue of E-Cigarette totals $20 billion, 30 times smaller than tobacco.
Is E-Cigarette safe?
E-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking but it doesn’t make it safe. The reason for this is they contain nicotine which is found in traditional smoking. One scenario you could have is people starting with E-Cigarette could graduate to traditional smoking. Therefore, E-Cigarette isn’t a method where you can quit smoking.
Then, there is the flavouring of E-Cigarette to make it appealing to children. Another way of getting them into smoking.
Communist idea number 3: Tetris
One of the most popular games in the 80s and 90s, Tetris sold over 170 million copies in all formats. It is the best-selling game in the Game Boy with 35 million copies. One reason why is retailers would bundle the Game Boy, plus the Tetris game together to attract buyers. And is a winning combination.
A Russian software engineer named Alexey Leonidovich Pajitnov came up with Tetris in 1984.
Did you know: The song for Tetris came from a folk song from the 19th century called “Korobeiniki.” It’s about the courtship between a peasant girl and a peddler.
Get the original Tetris at Amazon from £9.90 to £49 for collectables.
Another reason is to keep it in mint condition and sell it when the original becomes a rare commodity.
Communist idea number 4: AK-47
When it comes to assault rifles, nothing beats the AK-47s.
Invented by Mikhail Kalashnikov between 1946 and 1948, it’s the best assault rifle in the world. It sold over 75 million units vs. the American’s version M-16 (8 million units).
Why is it so popular?
Although the weapon is inaccurate in combat, the Russians see the AK-47 as reliable and easy to clean. Plus, the cost of buying an AK-47 is relatively cheap at $200 to $500 apiece.
Also, Russia grants a license to 30 countries to produce the AK-47 and its variant versions.
Yet, its popularity has a big downside.
The weapon is responsible for the deaths of 250,000 people per year and to date took over 8 million lives. But weapons don’t kill, human ideologies do. And there is always a choice from responsible nations not to sell arms to poor countries and solve conflict with diplomacy!
Communist idea number 5: Tsar Bomba
Speaking of deadly weapons, there is worse than nuclear weapons.
In history, two atomic bombs were used since their invention. The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima wiped out almost everything within a 1.6 km radius. It killed 90,000 to 146,000 people (out of the city’s 350,000 people). It has a yield of 15 kilotons TNT.
That’s nothing compared to what I’m going to tell you next.
In 1961, the Soviet got the creation of nuclear weapons to new heights with the Tsar Bomba. The bomb has a yield of 58 megatons of TNT or 3,866 times greater than the Hiroshima bomb.
How devastating the Tsar Bomba can become?
To answer this question, we have to look at different aspects of the Tsar Bomba.
First, the mushroom cloud. Each nuclear weapon that goes off produce a mushroom cloud. For the Tsar Bomba, the mushroom cloud can reach 40 miles up in the sky. It’s seven times higher than Mount Everest! (Yes, not even the highest mountain can keep you safe)
Second, if we were to test the Tsar Bomba underground. In 2017, North Korea did an underground nuclear test, triggering an earthquake measuring 6.1. Expert estimate the yield to be 250 kilotons. What happens if the Russians test the Tsar Bomba underground? A Tsar Bomba would trigger an earthquake of 8.1 and 100 times more powerful than the North Korean test.
Third, the blast radius. We know the Hiroshima bomb can destroy everything within a 1.6 km radius. The Tsar Bomba can cover a 33km radius of total destruction. For a city like London that has a 39.6 km radius, 90% of its 8.5 million residences could be killed in an instant. Plus, those who are within 100 km from the bomb epicentre will experience third-degree burns if they were to venture outside.
Communist idea number 6: Space Station
Confirmed. NASA didn’t launch the first space station that title goes to the Soviet when they send the Salyut 1 in 1971.
It was a historic achievement that allows a crew of cosmonauts to survive outside of Earth.
Apart from that, scientists were able to perform various experiments. Also, they would study the effects of space on the human body.
Yet, the Salyut 1 didn’t stay in space for long when the Soviets decide to bring it down on October 1971.
The Soviets would wait till 1986 when the Mir space station became operational.
Communist idea number 7: Supersonic transport
Invented by Alexei Tupolev, the Tupolev beat the Concorde by three months.
It was the first time a passenger jet went supersonic (faster than the speed of sound).
Yet, success was short-lived, as the Tupolev retire in 1978 after three years of operations.
Meanwhile, the Concorde had more commercial success that lasts from 1976 to 2003.
Communist idea number 8: Artemisinin
The Europeans may have invented Quinine to combat malaria.
But in 1972, the Chinese discover Artemisinin. It works by targeting malaria and destroying all the life cycle stages of the parasites.
Doctors can give Artemisinin orally or via injection and takes a few hours to work.
It would significantly reduce malaria parasite, so aiding the patient recovery. Also, it has very little side effect on the patient.
Drugs aren’t the only solution to stopping malaria. Some people in Africa have become resistance to contracting malaria because they have a different variant of haemoglobin.
Communist idea number 9: Passenger Drone
The idea of using a drone to carry passengers came from the Chinese. They build one to carry a single passenger to its destination.
The Ehang 184 from Ehang is operating in Dubai in 2018 that is able to carry two people while using 100% renewable energy.
However, they have several competitors like Volocopter from Germany. Their passenger drone can fly 17 miles using electric.
Communist idea number 10: Children’s railway
The Children’s railway is an extracurricular educational institution.
It’s for children who love railways and learn about a possible in the sector. The first children’s railway opened in Gorky Park, Moscow in 1932.
Also, it plays a part in attracting children to the profession.
That’s your ten inventions from countries under Communism.