The Economic Life of Soviet Russia

The Economic Life of Soviet Russia

The Economic Life of Soviet Russia

The Economic Life of Soviet Russia

Excerpt

This book is the result of an investigation carried out while I was a Fellow of the Social Science Research Council in the Soviet Union in 1929-30. The statistics used are, needless to say, from Soviet sources. Almost without exception they are taken from sources which the Soviet Government and its economic organs use in the planning and direction of the economy. In some cases I feel that they are subject to discount, on account of the fact that Soviet statisticians are subjected to considerable pressure, and are, therefore, not free to interpret their own data. This pressure is due to a kind of self-deception which renders Party members unwilling to face unpleasant facts, and which causes them to see other data through rose-coloured spectacles. Statistics are often more complete, however, than similar data in capitalistic countries, on account of the fact that almost all economic activity is carried on by governmental organs. It is probable that the index numbers of prices are too low, that the estimates of increase in production and of increase in real wages are both too high, and that other general averages and summaries should also be discounted somewhat. Data taken from different sources frequently do not exactly check. This is liable to be true, however, of statistical data in any country. Finally it should be noted that wherever data are given according to the "Control Figures," such data are not realized but only planned data.

My thanks are due to the Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, which arranged numerous interviews for me and performed other services. I have refrained from mentioning the names of scores of govern-

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