Doesn't the decline of the Soviet Union prove that socialism is a failure?

Common Objections to Socialism Answered:
from The People, October 5, 1991, pages 1, 6.

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Doesn't the decline of the Soviet Union prove that socialism is a failure?

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A state-run economic system is not socialism! Karl Marx and Frederick Engels clearly distinguished between state ownership of the means of production and social ownership. They opposed the very existence of the state. State ownership means the continued existence of a governmental power over and above the people themselves; it signifies continued class rule. Social ownership means that the people themselves, collectively and democratically, govern the use of the means of production. Marx and Engels described socialism as a society run by "associations of free and equal producers."

Thus the Soviet Union never was a socialist country. At no time did the Soviet Union ever have place a system in which the people owned all the means of production and in which the decisions governing production and distribution were made by democratic associations encompassing all the workers. At no time did the workers dismantle the state, or abolish exploitation and the wages system.

Furthermore, as The People and the Socialist Labor Party pointed out in 1917, the Bolshevik Revolution was not, and could not have been, a socialist revolution. Russia in 1917 had none of the material prerequisites for socialism. It was a backward, semi-feudal country, incapable of eliminating scarcity. It had very little industry and only a small minority of people belonged to the working class.

The Bolshevik Revolution defeated a weak precapitalist government that had supplanted the czar. It finished the task begun in the February 1917 revolution, defeating the forces of feudalism and imperialist domination. But when no socialist revolution triumphed in the West, Bolshevism soon developed into a new system of class rule and exploitation, in which the party/state bureaucracy became the ruling class. That system -- bureaucratic state despotism -- is what is now falling apart in the Soviet Union, not socialism. Accordingly, the decline of the Soviet Union today proves absolutely nothing about the viability of socialism.