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Soviet Union was highly authoritarian, but was able to keep innovations coming where it mattered, that is, around military technology. The word to google is "sharashka".

OTOH Soviet Union sucked at innovation everywhere else, which was costly. Inability to feed the population when still keeping up in the arms race is what killed Soviet Union.

China is seemingly quite far from such a situation, though.




North korea is still a bit like that. Everything is underfunded to the degree that you are aloted a strip of a public road that you have to keep clean with brooms including in winter (something usually done by the state), except for their nuclear research department.




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