[Marxism] work-needs

noah tucker 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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