csoc21 at btinternet.com
Thu Jul 10 18:28:26 MDT 2008
Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:
Those with a superficial understanding of Soviet economic history
might assume that the link between Lenin and Guevara is Stalin. The
popular notion we have of Stalin surrounded by technocrats planning
out every last detail of each five year plan to the last turbine in
the last electrical generating plant is nothing but a myth. Stalin
was opposed to planning, accounting and controls.
Stalin chose arbitrary target-dates for big projects and demanded
their completion on schedule. His main interest was getting the job
done, no matter how slipshod the results. Every plan submitted to him
was speeded up. The professionals who prepared the plans were
appalled. Eventually Molotov got rid of these professionals and
replaced them with yes-men.
The unplanned character of the Soviet economy forced continuous
compensations and administrative controls. If a construction crew
would not work twelve hours a day to complete a road, then additional
foremen and cops were necessary to control them. As more and more
bottlenecks appeared, more and more "interventions" were required to
keep the whole ungainly machine going. Thus a command economy built
on a centralized pyramid model grew up in the 1930s. This had nothing
to do with Lenin's original intent.
Yet this 'mythical' Stalinist system... an arbitrary, unplanned, centralized pyramid... transformed the USSR into the industrial giant which defeated Nazi Europe.
And by these appalling slipshod methods, the Soviet Union proceeded to send the first man into space.
If only we had such ungainly means, and the yes-men to command them, at our disposal today.
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