Lenin & Accounting-Reply to L. Proyect

glevy at acnet.pratt.edu glevy at acnet.pratt.edu
Tue Jul 11 18:39:32 MDT 1995

Rob wrote the following concerning accounting:

> I have a B.S. in Accounting (Penn State, 1967) and have worked most of my
> life in this field and despite the fact that for some years I bought into
> Lenin's condescending and just plain ignorant attitude toward "accounting
> and control," I know now that it takes a lot more than just being
> literate to be an accountant. Computers can count. They can organize
> information in the most elaborate and helpful ways. Though counting and
> organizing information are essential to any economic operation and may
> be said to be the trunk of the accounting tree, what we often think of as
> bookeeping, the flowers are the stuff of economic valuation. Without
> valuation, expressed in a standard form  (money) large-scale
> commerce is unthinkable.
> Lenin's denigration of the complexity of business methods and knowledge
> and his assumption that valuation was the stuff "that any literate person
> can do" is at the heart of why he and his followers never came close to
> competing with Western capitalism economically and why it was doomed to
> failure.
> Counting and organizing economic information via computer will not make
> state planned economies compete. Values are ultimately expressed in prices
> purchasers are willing to pay for economic goods. Bureaucrats can try to
> assign prices, but without a sizable market sector, distorted information
> will abound and poor economic decisions will  be made.
Rob, please don't take what I'm about to write personally.  I'm sure that
you have worked hard to be a good accountant.  I'm sure you are a good
accountant.  If I was in need of an accountant, then I'd want you as my


Don't you think that computer applications for accounting (e.g. "Quicken",
"Peachtree", "CA-Simply Accounting", etc) can be learned by a motivated
worker with a little training?


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