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Technological Change in the USSR and the Return to a Market Economy

Priyatosh Maitra (University of Otago, New Zealand)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 1 January 1992



The recent collapse of so‐called socialist economies has raised fundamental questions about whether a socialist economy could be built on imported capitalism. Russia′s socialist development was based, from the beginning, on Western capitalist technology from the time of its introduction in the late nineteenth century; the manner of this attempt may account for socialism′s premature demise. Could a socialist system be built in an economy that has not undergone a sufficient capitalist transformation? Lenin′s New Economic Policy is regarded by some as the step intended to fulfil this condition. But before it had reached its mature phase, Stalin′s “Industry First Approach” with the help of technology from mature capitalist economies, but of course under strict socialist control of production and distribution, misled the direction of the socialist transformation of Russian society. Will socialist economic development with imported technology inevitably end up in a free enterprise economy, as is happening in the Soviet Union? Discusses these questions beginning with an analysis of the three stages of socialist development attempted in the USSR, with a brief review of sources of technological change, and ending with the causes behind the return of a socialist economy to a market economy.



Maitra, P. (1992), "Technological Change in the USSR and the Return to a Market Economy", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 27-46.




Copyright © 1992, MCB UP Limited

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