Academic Freedom

  • Jan Toporowski
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Economic Thought book series (PHET)


With the coming of the 1960s, Kalecki’s relations with the government soured, and he turned more and more towards academic work. Much of the deterioration in his government work was due to differences over the nature and purpose of the government’s direction of the economy. For him, the purpose of economic planning under socialism was the improvement in consumption, and consumption standards, of the broad mass of the population. This approach, however, did not survive the fetishisation of industrialisation and the rate of growth of the economy as a whole that emerged from the highly politicised method of plan construction in the Soviet bloc. In that process mass consumption was reduced to a haphazard totemic outcome of successive construction campaigns. With an insecure hold on the loyalty of the masses, the Polish Government was prone to inflate projects, often at the behest of industrial lobbies with large concentrations of workers: in the Polish case, the coal-mining districts and the steel industry. The Six-Year Plan of 1950–1955 had over-extended project commitments and failed as a result. The more modest first Five-Year Plan of 1956–1960, drawn up by the chastened planners, assisted by détente with the Western powers, was overfulfilled, thanks to its concentration on completing projects left over from the Six-Year Plan. Even so, the decentralisation of economic decision-making, following the turn to reforms in economic administration, had to be reined in in 1959, when it became apparent that enterprise managers were prone to over-investing.

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Toporowski
    • 1
  1. 1.Economics DepartmentSOAS University of LondonLondonUK

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