Great posts. The decline in durability of goods, and the replacement of durability with signals goods. I’ll put it in economic terms:
Markets, like Democracy, when combined with cheap consumer credit, produce ever cheaper results with ever higher signal value, until they drive out all quality and durability. This is a universal law of economics. So the problem is not so much capitalism or markets, but cheap consumer credit. (really).
Soviet Military goods were produced to be cheap, durable, and easy to use, and easy to repair, but not necessarily comfortable. The consumer goods followed this design strategy. And when you are trying to rapidly modernize a ‘backward’ economy, it’s actually a fantastic strategy.
The only problem I see is that it was fairly obvious fairly early, that correcting a backward economy is *all* that centralization can do, and that changing from near-non-existent industrialism, to industrialism can in fact be done, but the change from industrial production to markets and incentives is eventually necessary.
The soviets did some good things too. I still prefer Ukrainian and Russian culture to my own