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 Post subject: Analysis of the Economy of the USSR, other Eastern Bloc
PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2011 11:07 pm 
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I've read The Marxian Concept of Capital and the Soviet Experience by Paresh Chattopadhyay, but I'm looking for a little bit more work on the USSR, particularly a material analysis of its leadership, politics, and international relations. Also, would greatly appreciate an internationalist analysis of the PRC, Vietnam, Cuba, etc. Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Analysis of the Economy of the USSR, other Eastern Bloc
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2011 7:48 am 
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Well, there's Western Marxism and the Soviet Union by Marcel van der Linden, avaible as a download on the web. There's The Economic Development of the USSR by Roger Munting, and An Economic History of the USSR by Alec Nove.

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 Post subject: Re: Analysis of the Economy of the USSR, other Eastern Bloc
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2011 10:31 pm 
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Regarding an analysis of PRC, Vietnam, Cuba etc, most of these economies functioned in the same way as the USSR. Even most other countries where a high degree of state ownership was introduced, the functioning was very similar to the USSR. The Soviet model of economic planning was apparently followed in most of these countries. Even in South Korea, five year plans helped the economy to transform from a poor agricultural economy to a highly industrial economy. I had always seen the debates around the nature of the USSR to naturally apply to the nature of these other countries where state ownership was achieved to a high-level as well. I am not aware of any major deviations from the Soviet economic model that took place in these other state-owned economies. The only difference I see is that the economy of the USSR was one that developed following a failed proletarian revolution. Hence, the reason why Trotskyists refer to it as a degenerated workers state, as opposed to the other states that are termed as being bureaucratically deformed from the beginning since they were directly imposed from above. People like Ted Grant took this to the next logical step and began describing Burma and Syria also as being deformed workers states. Is there a reason why a separate analysis would be required?

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 Post subject: Re: Analysis of the Economy of the USSR, other Eastern Bloc
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:54 am 
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Because I think economies must be analyzed in terms of their historical origin and precedents, in following to where they evolve. Base determines superstructure. Something in the background of the original Stalinism (and necessarily, but separately, the daughter Stalinisms as well) helped overdetermine the emergence of the Soviet state and model in historical change and real class struggle. I would like to understand that better.

Besides, most of the daughter Stalinisms were tiny dependencies clinging to the side of the USSR to weather the hostility of the West economically and politically, and the USSR as a social formation emerged isolated and sui generis in the 1920s and 1930s, for decades before sibling formations with trade and political relations with the original multiplied.

I think those are significant issues.

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 Post subject: Re: Analysis of the Economy of the USSR, other Eastern Bloc
PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:58 pm 
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[quote="The Commune"]Because I think economies must be analyzed in terms of their historical origin and precedents, in following to where they evolve. Base determines superstructure. Something in the background of the original Stalinism (and necessarily, but separately, the daughter Stalinisms as well) helped overdetermine the emergence of the Soviet state and model in historical change and real class struggle. I would like to understand that better.

Besides, most of the daughter Stalinisms were tiny dependencies clinging to the side of the USSR to weather the hostility of the West economically and politically, and the USSR as a social formation emerged isolated and sui generis in the 1920s and 1930s, for decades before sibling formations with trade and political relations with the original multiplied.

I think those are significant issues.


Yes, but we cannot look at this development separate and apart from the role of Stalinism internationally, and vice versa, the impact of the international condition of the world markets on the fSU.

Sparts used to love to proclaim how the fSU was "isolated and protected" from the great Depression by the collectivized property relations." Bunch of ****; anyone who doesn't think the first five year plan wasn't part and parcel of the great Depression isn't paying attention to historical events.

And of course, whatever Stalinism did in the 30s, it certainly didn't protect the fSU from what followed in the world markets, namely WW2.

Somehow in the midst of all this, there's the important "multinational role" of Stalinism defeating the world revolution; making the world safe for capitalist destruction.
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 Post subject: Re: Analysis of the Economy of the USSR, other Eastern Bloc
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:03 am 
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I'm currently reading a 1975 edition (so, before the archives opened) of Alec Nove's "Stalinism and After". Normally, I like Nove's stuff such as his "Economic History of the USSR", but I'm not too sure about this one. It does go into some detail about the personalities involved but a lot of it seems to be personal opinion. If there is a revised version, then it might be worth a look. It sort of reads like Fitzpatricks "The Russian Revolution". Nove seems to hold on to the Leninist tradition of socialism being a transitional stage (he also calls the first five year plan, and the centralisation of industry in general, as an ultra-left or extreme left idea) though but he does almost step into the stage capitalist idea with talk of the nomenklature being in a position that almost resembles a class (without actually saying it), and so on. He also tries to explain certain trends within the USSR as being based on that on tradition and people being used to it, such as ranks and uniform, instead of being just symptons of a state.

So in short, that book is more about the politics involved rather than his other work, which is almost strictly about economics.


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 Post subject: Re: Analysis of the Economy of the USSR, other Eastern Bloc
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:45 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Analysis of the Economy of the USSR, other Eastern Bloc
PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:57 pm 
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thefinalmarch wrote:
Way to revive a dead thread

Not sure it's really much of a problem in this case. Better than making another thread on the same thing, and it's not like TC has left or anything, quite apart from the fact that somebody else may be interested in this subject. Things don't move that quickly around here, anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Analysis of the Economy of the USSR, other Eastern Bloc
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:47 pm 
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It would be nice if there were some kind of work that objectively examines and documents the different characterizations of the Soviet Union on the left. I'm not ready to call it capitalist but I certainly don't think it was a worker's state, of any kind.

I think the user Q on revleft (not sure if he's made his way here) has an interesting analysis wherein he considers it a "target economy," and not a planned economy. The target economy, he says, is bureautacially administerd and sets arbitrary mandates for itself that don't correlate with the wants and needs of society.

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 Post subject: Re: Analysis of the Economy of the USSR, other Eastern Bloc
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:48 pm 
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What about capital, law of value, wedge labour, alienation, profits, class explanation? Is that targeted in that economy or is that just a way that capitalism functions?

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The worst sin we commit is that we degrade our political and organisational tasks to the level of the immediate, “palpable”, “concrete” interests of the everyday economic struggle; yet they keep singing to us the same refrain: Lend the economic struggle itself a political character! We repeat: this kind of thing displays as much “sense for the realities of life” as was displayed by the hero in the popular fable who cried out to a passing funeral procession, “Many happy returns of the day!”
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