Labor in the Soviet Union

Labor in the Soviet Union

Labor in the Soviet Union

Labor in the Soviet Union

Excerpt

The reader of a book on Russian labor policy may expect more than the author will, and can, promise him. The Soviet Union claims--or at least claimed for many years--to be a workers' state and to have created a socialist planned economy. The labor policy of the Soviet state is one of the most important guides to knowledge and understanding of present-day Russia. The reader may expect that a work on Russian labor policy in the period of universal planning will answer the fundamental question which has stirred controversy for years: What is the essence, the social content of the Russian economic and social order? Is it socialism? Is it "state capitalism?" Is it a "transitional form" from capitalism to socialism? Or is it something else?

At the risk of disappointing the reader, I have refrained from even touching the question in this book. No analysis of labor policy alone can fully answer it. Important as knowledge of Russian labor policy must be to any answer, understanding of Russia's economics and, last but not least, the particularly difficult precise sociological analysis of modern Russia are of no lesser importance. On a smaller scale I have tried elsewhere to illuminate certain sides of this last complex of questions. Yet that was hardly more than a modest beginning, while nothing short of an intensive sociological analysis of present-day Russia and especially of the Soviet Communist Party and its development since the first years of the Revolution can scientifically clarify a great many basic questions which today can mostly be answered only with reservations.

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