When Cato Institute co-founder Ed Crane visited the Soviet Union in 1981, he was already a critic of arms-race brinksmanship with the U.S.’s foremost enemy. Instinct told him a country lacking freedom would pose no threat to the freest country on earth.
Upon seeing the U.S.S.R. up close, what Crane instinctually knew was vivified by sight. Miserable people walking in hunched over fashion in cities that literally smelled of communism. Worse for the would-be power, there was no economy. In an essay written upon return, Crane was clear that the U.S. had no reason to fear the surely evil U.S.S.R. Since collectivism was the economic policy, the Soviet Union lacked the economy to ever pose a military threat to the richest nation on earth.