• Anders Åslund
Part of the St Antony’s/Macmillan Series book series


One of the fundamental tenets of Marxism-Leninism is the abolition of the exploitation of man by man through the elimination of private ownership of the means of production. Under Stalin this was a major objective of all communist governments. The private sector dwindled rapidly and what was left was generally believed to be a temporary remnant. However, the private sector has not disappeared. In the mid-1950s, mid-1960s, and again in recent years, several East European governments have made attempts to revive private enterprise, despite their expressed adherence to the socialisation of all means of production.1 A recent Polish textbook on political economy notes that the chief task of the transitional period from capitalism to socialism is ‘the liquidation of the capitalist sector and the gradual transformation of the petty commodity sector, in particular the individual peasant economy’.2 The existence of private enterprise remains ideologically undesirable. Two major questions emerge:
  1. 1.

    Why has private enterprise survived?

  2. 2.

    How does private enterprise function in a Soviet-type economy?



Private Sector Private Enterprise Private Ownership German Democratic Republic State Capitalism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    Cf. G. A. Kozlov (ed.) Political Economy: Socialism (Moscow, 1977) p. 20.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    T. Grabowski (ed.) Ekonomia polityczna socjalizmu 2nd edn (Warsaw, 1978) p. 50.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    GUS, ‘Bilans gospodarki nieuspotecznionej 1971’, Mimeograph (Warsaw, 1972) p. 11.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    R. Skarżyński, ‘Opodatkowanie dochodu jako narzędzie kształtowania rozwoju indywidualnego rzemioła’, PhD thesis (Warsaw, 1974) (hereafter Skarżyński, 1974) p. 80.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    GUS ‘Przychody i wydatki ludności 1968–1969’ mimeograph (Warsaw, October 1970) p. 2.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Cz. Niewadzi, Polityka rozwoju rzemiosła w Polsce (Warsaw, 1968) (hereafter Niewadzi, 1968) pp. 42–4).Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    W. Müller, ‘Grundfragen der Planung und Leitung des Handwerks während der Periode des Übergangs vom Kapitalismus zum Sozialismus in der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik,’ PhD thesis (Humboldt University, East Berlin, 1969) (hereafter Müller, 1969) p. 63.Google Scholar
  8. 20.
    Lenin, Collected Works vol. xxxi (London, 1966) p. 24 (emphasis in original).Google Scholar
  9. 21.
    Lenin, Sochinyeniya (Moscow, 1929) p. 514.Google Scholar
  10. 22.
    Cf. J. G. Zielinski, Economic Reforms in Polish Industry (London, 1973) (hereafter Zielinski, 1973) pp. 6, 301–3, 316.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Anders Åslund 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anders Åslund
    • 1
  1. 1.Permanent Swedish DelegationGenevaSwitzerland

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