In any society ruled by the mantra "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" it doesn't take very long for everyone to have need and no one to have (or at least show or admit that they have) ability. That's because if you have abilities you will be forced to do work and then provide for those who only have need. Soon the game is figured out and everyone (well, that is, everyone among those of ability who are left alive and who actually have anything left after a revolution led by those of need) learns how to play it to win. The only way to win among peoples like this is to be ladened down with as much need as you can possibly lay claim to, and exhibit no ability at all. As soon as everyone left alive has declared victory and the goal of the mantra itself has been achieved, that's when everyone finally figures out the hard way that they have turned a productive society teeming with ability and creativity into a sewer of pure unadulterated need devoid of any remaining creativity and ability.