Uh, there was this little matter of WWII? You do recall? The Germans did a fair amount of "dissipating" Soviet wealth, which was not really the fault of communism in Russia. The authoritarian communist government of the Soviet Union managed to industrialize a medieval country in thirty years. They arranged the production of enough surplus to both finance and scientifically support the creation essentially from scratch of a modern military complex capable of posing a propaganda threat, if not a real one, to the richest and most heavily militarized country the world has ever seen - immediately after defeating in catastrophic total war within their own borders the second most heavily militarized country the world has ever seen. Credit where credit is due: That was a fantastic achievement. It argues for, not against, abusive totalitarian communist governance - contrast the economic fate of Soviet sized regions of South and Central America, despite relative freedom from war and threat. What failed, in the Soviet Union, was totalitarian centralized micromanagement of the economy coupled with bankrupting levels of military investment and expenditure, imposed on a landscape and economy nearly destroyed by war. Unlike the US, they didn't have the luxury of two generations of civilian industrial production to build up the wealth for that kind of military establishment - they had to finance it from the principal, year by year, while under direct threat. And unlike the US, the Soviets actually supported their "allies", contributed to them, rather than leaching from them - Cuba suffered enormously after the collapse of the Soviet Union, as did several other outlying "allies" - Haiti and Honduras and Nicaragua and so forth suffered in the wake of the success, not the failure, of the US. You may be underestimating things. You do not have to maintain your gear under those conditions, nor do you have to build up the physical strength and endurance necessary for the role of, say, the English longbow, in army level combat. It was primarily an impact weapon, like a long distance club - not a penetrative one. The bows required had straight draws of 80 pounds and up - over 120, ideally, to deliver the blow - and the arrow still had to be aimed with fair accuracy, the soldier marched many miles into battle and prepared for hand combat once there and out of arrows, etc.