“Socialist Planning” and Enterprise in the USSR, 1929-1989

The basic element of economic planning in “actually existing socialism” was aspecific kind of economic control exercised over enterprises by the state (in the formof the state planning agencies). This control derives from two sources: (a) the plan itself (which had the status of law), that is to say the articulation bythe state of economic goals which the enterprises were obliged to accomplish, and (b) the appropriation by the state of the greater part of the economic surplusproduced by the enterprises. To a large extent this surplus was redistributed to the enterprises by the state in accordance with the plan, for the implementation of theirinvestment programme. These two types of control together shaped the structures andthe operational guidelines of enterprises in such a way as to promote a typically monopolistic structuring of the economy.

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