Roger Fletcher draws our attention to the ways in which socialist societies might change the evaluation and social recognition of different kinds of work.
In Poland in the 1960s, it was found that in comparison with the pre-war situation, manual workers and employees in industry considerably raised their status whereas those in non-manual work saw significant declines.
Miners and unskilled building workers had massive rises in the evaluation of their work, whereas merchants, priests and shop owners had significant falls.
Manual workers' status, incomes and facilities all substantially improved while there was a general equalisation of incomes.
Under capitalism, the severe income differentials are derived from private ownership of productive assets on the one hand and the effects of unemployment on the other.
The socialist societies abolished both. Public ownership and the ideology of socialism had an impact on the organisation of work.
Clearly, this does not change the arduous nature of labour, but it does in some ways compensate for it.
These positive developments were undone as the socialist system was torn apart.
Extremes of wealth are leading people to realise that the dismantling of socialist states wasn't the victory of freedom and democracy the West made out.
While the Communist Party of the Russian Federation is the second most popular party in Russia, it is the nationalists and populists in many former socialist countries that are increasingly providing a popular alternative.
It is still puzzling why there is not a wider and stronger socialist movement in these countries.