Bukharin and “Market Socialism”
Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin is sometimes portrayed as "the father of market socialism". In this chapter, the author contends that his attitude toward the market was much more complex and subtle than that of merely accepting or rejecting the use of market mechanisms. The judicial and political rehabilitation of Bukharin in the Soviet Union has cleared the way for scholars from all countries to assess honestly both the strengths and weaknesses of Bukharin's contributions to the development of Marxist theory and practice. To understand Bukharin's particular views on the transition period between capitalism and socialism, it is necessary to understand how he viewed the development of capitalism. In terms of his equilibrium theory, Bukharin argued that the collapse of the system of finance capital during the revolutionary period had a proportionately greater disruptive effect on industry than it did on agriculture.