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. Another
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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…