Capitalism isnt thrown off so easily either , especially when you throw religious persecution into the mix . Imperial Russia was essentially capitalist , and strongly Orthodox , the communists tried to crush both , with only limited success , they controlled the economy , but not really the minds of the people who kept up their religion through underground means . There are still elements that want communism back , but they are the minority , they are now very much a capitalist and orthodox nation once again , that is not going away any time soon . They have the best standard of living now , than they did under the Tsars or the Commies , the average person on the street that is . Putin is not Stalin , he cant just do anything he wants , and can , and has been told no . Sort of like here in the US , the President cant become a dictator , IF congress and Senate are doing their job . Sometimes it might look like they are a dictator , but if the leader has over an 80% approval rating , he can get things done fairly easily …….its just been a long time sense we had that kind of leader here . I agree with you on China , they have no qualms about snuffing millions of their own people if they felt they needed to .