It can be taken as tolerably certain that the difficulties of “war communism,” amounting in some cases almost to disaster, which were so vividly in evidence in 1920, were not merely incidental to the system, in the sense that in happier circumstances they could have been surmounted while leaving the essential features of the system intact. In the main they depended upon the features of the system itself, these features in turn being imposed by the necessities of civil war and the advanced stage of economic decline. Economic accounting depends on the possibility of equating, say, a ton of feathers to a certain weight of lead, and then on reducing them both for accounting purposes toa common standard, or equivalent. In an ordinary competitive society based on the market such pricing is effected by the play of forces on the market itself, and accounting is accordingly based on this as an objective factor.