Recent looters of Apple stores were surprised to discover all their brand-new stolen gadgets had been rendered non-functional as a result of the theft. As soon as the pilfered devices were powered up, their screens displayed messages advising “you are being tracked” and “the authorities have been alerted.”
Things were a lot simpler back when the Bolsheviks appropriated the assets of Russia. Those assets had not been pre-programmed to self destruct. Although the shipyards, factories, banks, and railroads required some degree of expertise to operate, much of the work needed was unskilled manual labor. The kind of work that slaves (or their Marxist/Leninist equivalents, the proletariat) can be forced to do. As for the more complex tasks of that time, most of those could be easily observed, measured, and thus, compelled.
Today in the United States that is not the case. Many of the most valuable assets are intellectual, not physical. For example, the value of Microsoft, based ...