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Extra resources for An Economic History of the USSR, 1917-91

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To put into effect laws contrary to all private interests . . it was necessary to strengthen the dictatorship of the central authority, to systematize it, to cover all France with police and military, to abolish all freedoms, to control through a central supply commission all agricultural and industrial production, endlessly to resort to requisitions, to seize hold of transport and trade, to create everywhere a new bureaucracy in order to operate an immense supply apparatus, to limit consumption by ration cards, to resort to house-searches, fill prisons with suspects, cause the guillotine to be constantly at work.

Lenin was greatly impressed with the German war economy. He thought that the concentration of state-capitalist power gave rise to possibilities of direct socialist takeover of the levels of economic power. ', also written on the eve of the revolution. It is worth quoting from this at some length: This brings us to another aspect of the question of the state apparatus. In addition to the chiefly 'oppressive' apparatus - the standing army, the police and the bureaucracy - the modern state possesses an apparatus which has extremely close connections with the banks and syndicates, an apparatus which performs an enormous amount of accounting and 36 War, Revolution and Revolutionaries registration work, if it may be expressed this way.

Thus in the 'Declaration of Rights of the Working and Exploited People', published on 17 January 1918 and modelled on the Declaration of the Rights of Man of the French Revolution, some of the laws on workers' control and V S N K H were seen as 'guaranteeing the power of the working people over the exploiters and as a first step towards the complete conversion of the factories, mines, railways and other means of production and transport into the property of the workers' and peasants' state'. However, this declaration proposed no timetable, and would have been consistent with a prolonged existence of a mixed economy.

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