Economic Collapse of Soviet Union
Militarization and Bureaucracy Page 8


Theoretical unpreparedness
Page 2

Dumas analysis
Page 3

Breakdown of technology
Page 4

Breakdown of science
Page 5

Resource diversion
Page 6

Unproductive activity
Page 7

Militarization and bureaucracy
Page 8

Why did the USSR fall first?
Page 9

Did the USSR have any choice?
Page 10

Page 11

In the Soviet Union, there has always been a link between militarization and bureaucracy. Lenin foresaw the problem developing and discussed it in his pamphlet introducing the New Economic Policy in 1921. He argued:

The tax in kind is one of the forms of transition from that peculiar War Communism, which was forced on us by extreme want, ruin and war, to regular socialist exchange of products. (18)

Later in the pamphlet he criticized the growth of bureaucracy and called for the development of local economic initiatives as the socialist alternative. This was later debated between Bukharin and Trotsky. Trotsky took the principle of war communism to an extreme:

His concept of a system of command and coercion ...was aimed at a system of forced labour, of barrack-like social organization. ...This "mass of workers" was to be assigned rigid production quotas from above in the form of legally binding plans, to be fulfilled under threat of severe reprisals ...whereby deserters were to be sent to penal work teams and even to concentration camps.(19)

Secrecy and restricted movement, the hallmarks of militarism and bureaucracy, pervaded Soviet society when I was working there. They hampered the work of the scientific institutes where I was located, even though they were not doing military research. As a result, I found that all levels of the system, from institutes to ministries, were isolated from each other, both by barriers to communication and by an attitude that one should mind one's own business. In the long run, these barriers to communication can be very destructive to scientific work and its applications.

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