chapter
4 Pages

Introduction

The Left Opposition within the Bolshevik party made quite another assessment. The “retreat” from War Communism involved a major concession to peasants, who were relieved of the threat of grain requisitioning and instead were expected to pay a tax in kind that would be fixed in advance. Post-tax “surpluses” could be traded in the market, thus providing an immediate incentive to expand agricultural production. The return to an orthodox financial policy boded ill for the remnants of Soviet industry, which hiterto had been subsisting by way of state subsidies. The Finance Commissariat, he claimed in The New Course, had established an arbitrary “dictatorship” over industry and sacrificed proletarian socialism to the fetish of an orthodox financial policy. Selected imports of low-cost consumer goods and new industrial equipment were to be purchased with exports of Soviet grain. The central issue involved the pattern and tempo of saving and investment.