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    Geoffrey Hosking quote. A confidential report delivered in June 1965 by Abel Aganbegyan, director of the Novobirsk Institute of Economics, highlighted the difficulties. Aganbegyan noted that the growth rate of the Soviet economy was beginning to decline, just as the rival US economy seemed particularly buoyant; at the same time, some sectors of the Soviet economy - housing, agriculture, services, retail trade - remained very backward, and were failing to develop at an adequate rate. The root causes of this poor performance he saw in the enormous commitment of resources to defense (in human terms, 30-40 million people out of a working population of 100 million, he reckoned), and the 'extreme centralism and lack of democracy in economic matters' which had survived from the past. In a complex modern society, he argued, not everything could be planned, since it was impossible to foresee all possible contingencies and their potential effects. So the plan amounted to central command, and even that could not be properly implemented for lack of information and of modern data-processing equipment. 'The Central Statistical Administration ... does not have a single computer, and is not planning to acquire any,' he commented acidly. Economic administration was also impeded by excessive secrecy: 'We obtain many figures... from American journals sooner than they are released by the Central Statistical Administration.' Hence the economy suffered from inbuilt distortions: the hoarding of goods and labour to provide for unforeseen contingencies, the production of shoddy goods to fulfill planning targets expressed in crude quantitative terms, the accumulation of unused money by a public reluctant to buy substandard products, with resultant inflation and a flourishing black market

    A confidential report delivered in June 1965 by Abel Aganbegyan, director of the Novobirsk Institute of Economics, highlighted the difficulties. Aganbegyan noted that the growth rate of the Soviet economy was beginning to decline, just as the rival US economy seemed particularly buoyant; at the same time, some sectors of the Soviet economy - housing, agriculture, services, retail trade - remained very backward, and were failing to develop at an adequate rate. The root causes of this poor performance he saw in the enormous commitment of resources to defense (in human terms, 30-40 million people out of a working population of 100 million, he reckoned), and the 'extreme centralism and lack of democracy in economic matters' which had survived from the past. In a complex modern society, he argued, not everything could be planned, since it was impossible to foresee all possible contingencies and their potential effects. So the plan amounted to central command, and even that could not be properly implemented for lack of information and of modern data-processing equipment. 'The Central Statistical Administration ... does not have a single computer, and is not planning to acquire any,' he commented acidly. Economic administration was also impeded by excessive secrecy: 'We obtain many figures... from American journals sooner than they are released by the Central Statistical Administration.' Hence the economy suffered from inbuilt distortions: the hoarding of goods and labour to provide for unforeseen contingencies, the production of shoddy goods to fulfill planning targets expressed in crude quantitative terms, the accumulation of unused money by a public reluctant to buy substandard products, with resultant inflation and a flourishing black market

    Geoffrey Hosking
    Moms Typewriter
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    Geoffrey Hosking quote. Lenin held that religion was a simply product of social oppression and economic exploitation. 'The social oppression of toiling masses, their apparent complete helplessness before the blind forces of capitalism ... that is the deepest contemporary root of religion'. Theoretically it followed from this that the elimination of social and economic evils should lead to the disappearance of religious belief. In practice, however, the party has never shown any confidence that this would happen: it has not felt able to concede the churches toleration, and let them decline of their own accord. On the contrary, from the beginning it has aimed at the destruction of the churches and the forcible secularization of believers. With the exemption of the years 1941-53, that has remained the case ever since

    Lenin held that religion was a simply product of social oppression and economic exploitation. 'The social oppression of toiling masses, their apparent complete helplessness before the blind forces of capitalism ... that is the deepest contemporary root of religion'. Theoretically it followed from this that the elimination of social and economic evils should lead to the disappearance of religious belief. In practice, however, the party has never shown any confidence that this would happen: it has not felt able to concede the churches toleration, and let them decline of their own accord. On the contrary, from the beginning it has aimed at the destruction of the churches and the forcible secularization of believers. With the exemption of the years 1941-53, that has remained the case ever since

    Geoffrey Hosking
    Moms Typewriter
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