chapter  7
28 Pages

Alternative Views on Socialist Economics in the Bukharin-Preobrazhenskh Polemic and Their Contemporary Significance

WithAleksandar M. Vacić

Many Soviet economists participated in the debate over the nature of the socialist economic system and Soviet economic policy that took place after the death of Vladimir Lenin. The very first divergent views of Nikolai Bukharin and Preobrazhenskii predated the debate, originating in the early 1920s. In fact, the main source of divergence was the considerably different assessments of the situation that had emerged after the failure of the economic policy of war communism. The first methodological difference between Bukharin and Preobrazhenskii concerns the very approach to investigation of the inner laws of the Soviet economy. The second methodological divergence between Bukharin and Preobrazhenskii concerns their understanding of the Soviet economy in the mid-1920s and, in a way, of the socialist economy. Considerations of both the historical and theoretical contemporary significance of the alternative views on socialist economics reflected in the polemic between Preobrazhenskii and Bukharin and in the whole debate of the 1920s inevitably invoke their political significance.