The Economics of Communism: With Special Reference to Russia's Experiment

By Leo Pasvolsky | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
FUEL AND RAW MATERIALS

WITH transportation as the greatest of the economic problems and difficulties of the Soviet régime, the question of fuel constitutes the second problem from the point of view of importance and acuteness. These two problems, with the question of raw materials added incidentally, constitute the great, mechanical (as contrasted with the human) factors of the Soviet economic régime. The two characteristic features of the fuel and the raw material situation during the period of the war and, particularly, of the Revolution, were, first, the shortage of both, which at times reached the stage of extreme acuteness, and second, the withdrawal from the control of the Central Russian authority of various sources of both fuel and raw materials, in the case of the former rendering necessary the substitution of one kind for another.


1. The Normal Fuel Situation

With all her immense natural wealth, which comprises also all kinds of materials that can be used as fuel, Russia has never had a really adequate supply of fuel. Although it is true that before the wax she exported certain quantities of coal and petroleum, it

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