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By Stephen A. Resnick, Richard D. Wolff

“A very bold and fascinating publication on a crucial topic.” —Howard Sherman, writer of Reinventing Marxism

“Using a model of Marx’s conception of sophistication to provide an explanation for the increase and fall of the Soviet Union, and the Soviet Union as proof for the validity of this conception, Resnick and Wolff achieve offering us with an unique and interesting account of either. even if one is of the same opinion or disagrees with their effects, no destiny paintings on both of those very important topics could be capable of forget about the sheer inventive verve and highbrow rigor with which they lay out their arguments. Very hugely recommended.” —Bertell Ollman, editor of Market Socialism: the talk between Socialists

“A attractive fulfillment! Resnick and Wolff have prolonged their course breaking paintings in Knowledge and Class to a full-fledged category research of the increase and fall of the Soviet Union. construction at the clearest research of sophistication within the Marxian culture, Resnick and Wolff supply a accomplished research of the center contradictions in pre-Soviet Russia and the Soviet Union. this can be a paintings that each one these enthusiastic about the Soviet event, the character of sophistication, and the probabilities of basic social swap must contend with.” —Victor D. Lippit, editor of Radical Political financial system: Explorations in substitute fiscal Analysis

Class idea and History either follows within the top Marxian tradition’s footsteps and develops new vital insights. construction upon a concept of sophistication whose pivot is the construction and distribution of surplus, the authors supply a stimulating and unique interpretation of the USSR’s delivery, improvement, and fall. this can be category research at its most sensible, a piece which merits the widest circulation.” —Guglielmo Carchedi writer of For one other Europe: a category research of eu monetary Integration

“Stephen Resnick and Richard Wolff, either economics professors, technique Soviet background on a hugely theoretical point, examining the effective relatives in Soviet society with occasionally mathematical (or, maybe, pseudomathematical) precision…[A] strikingly unique argument.” —Humanities and Social Sciences Online

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Extra info for Class Theory and History: Capitalism and Communism in the USSR

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People might well prefer capitalism, feudalism, or slavery even if they admitted that they would be exploited there. A preference for capitalism might depend significantly on belief in a theory of capitalism that denies that it entails exploitation. Conceptualizing capitalism in terms of an inherent harmony among its parts, each contributing to production and drawing its rewards (incomes) in proportion to that contribution, legitimates capitalism as ultimately fair, equitable, and just. In such a conception, workers in capitalism are not exploited; they give no more than they get; profits are not a sur­ plus they produce, but rather a reward to the resources and efforts provided to pro­ duction by capitalists; and so forth.

Unlike most of the previous examples, the technology used is likely to be relatively simple. On the other hand, distributions of the surplus may be every bit as complex as in the other institutional forms. , warriors, priests, healers, traders, and so forth-to sustain activities believed necessary to the success of the hunt. We turn now to a more centralized form of communism where production of surplus labor is local but its appropriation occurs on a more aggregated basis. To illustrate this form of communist appropriation, consider surpluses produced, respectively, in an industrial and a fanning enterprise.

The ratio of this surplus value to the values of wages and used-up materials yields administered rates of profit for each communist enterprise (and, of course, an economy-wide average rate of profit, too). Communist subsumed classes can allocate inputs and outputs according to such profit rates: for example, favoring the higher than average profit enterprises at the expense of the lower than average. ). 35 This competition, while differ­ ent, is somewhat analogous to that among private capitalist enterprises.

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