How Planned was the Soviet Economy Essay

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How Planned was the Soviet Economy

As Marxists claim that capitalism is 'anarchic, planless, inefficient and wastes human and natural resources', what with the modern advances made by Russia in such a short space of time, one would assume that the Soviet economy between 1924 and 1939 was meticulously planned and controlled. However, many facts would beg to differ and instead suggest the contrary.

It is true that institutes of planning existed in Russia in the period concerned. As of July 1922, VSNKh operated its control over industry by "methods of a production-planning character". The institution was responsible for the drafting of production and disposal plans amongst other things.
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One must not overlook the timing of the First Plan and brand it an accident. The Left Opposition had originally proposed rapid industrialization to be the part's primary priority. Now that they had been defeated the government was able to adopt their industrialization policies without putting them in power. Industrialization also came hand in hand with collectivisation as machinery such as tractors had to be produced.

1921 to 1927 were the years of the NEP.VSNKh can be said to have just regulated the economy during the NEP as opposed to doing anything else. However in all fairness, it is difficult to even talk about a planned economy between the years of 1924 and 1928, whatever the role of the state planning institutions, as the state did not run the most effective parts of the economy. The state's ability to plan was greatly hindered by the fact that it ran heavy industry and not agriculture. Between 1921 and 1927 the state industrial sector stagnated while agriculture flourished in the private sector.

The 1921 famine had led to a decline in the amount of land sown in the following year due to a shortage of seed and peasants fit to work in the affected provinces. However, the harvest in 1922 was of an acceptable standard, with the land sown in the following year just short of 90 per cent of the pre-war level. Although at this time the