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The Background to Perestroika: ‘Political Undercurrents’ Reconsidered in the Light of Recent Events

  • Peter Kneen
Part of the Studies in Soviet History and Society book series (SSHS)

Abstract

In his speech to the Central Committee plenum in June 1987 Gorbachev announced that commodity-money relations or, in other words, the market, were becoming an organic part of the socialist system.1 The Law on the State Enterprise, accepted by that meeting, anticipated that during 1988–9 all enterprises would become subject to the disciplines of full cost-accounting and self-financing.2 Aganbegyan, one of Gorbachev’s principal economic advisers, subsequently made it clear that enterprises which persistently failed to support themselves would, in effect, be considered bankrupt and closed.3 At the June plenum Gorbachev left no doubt that, in his estimation, the causes of the present difficulties, which he identified as a pre-crisis situation, fundamentally arose from adhering to the command-administrative methods developed under Stalin, alternatives to which had been spurned by Brezhnev.4 During the course of 1988, Bukh-arin, the leading proponent of market socialism in the 1920s, was rehabilitated as increasing public attention was directed to scrutinising the impact and legacy of Stalinism.5 It appeared as if Soviet economic policy had come full circle, a circumnavigation that had taken sixty arduous years.

Keywords

Political System Central Committee Market Discipline Party Organisation Party Membership 
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

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Copyright information

© Nick Lampert and Gábor T. Rittersporn 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Kneen

There are no affiliations available

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