Economic History of the Soviet Union

Economic theory must distinguish between publicly owned and privately owned property if it is to account for the effect of institutions on the behavior of individuals. Careful study of the theories of Marxists and the real-world experience in the Soviet economy offer important lessons and insight for economic modeling and the ongoing development of theory. In this course, Marxist/Leninist theory and Soviet reality will be studied with an open mind, and with the goal of taking lessons from the case study.

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Runs approx 2 video hours

Course Outline

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Guinevere Liberty Nell's picture

There was not much diversity of implementation across (within) t...

There was not much diversity of implementation across (within) the Soviet Union - the whole of it was governed by the party and the plan - but of course there have been other experiments with Marxism in other countries. You are absolutely right that the issues raised in this video can be explored, if not answered,by looking at the differences between these countries and the experiences in each of them.Were there priorities different? Did this affect their policies? Did it affect the outcome - the level of freedom?

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Guinevere Liberty Nell's picture

I am not aware of a specific prediction by Marx or Lenin on prod...

I am not aware of a specific prediction by Marx or Lenin on productivity gains expected although Marxists were confident there would be great gains for several reasons. They expected a reduction in wastes caused by competition (advertising, etc) and other capitalist features such as recessions, downturns, and crises, and they expected the workers' state to efficiently organize, produce, supply, and distribute - instead of a few privately hoarding profit, revenues would be reinvested - keeping cost and price low - or shared as common wealth. Another great productivity gain would come as workers choose to work harder because they are no longer working for an exploitative boss but for a society which values them - work becomes "life's prime want" - it becomes a joy.

If anyone can find an estimate of the expected productivity gains, please share it!

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Can I earn a certificate?

Yes, if you pass the final exam, you will earn the "Economic History of the Soviet Union" certificate on your MRUniversity profile. 

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Yes, please! The videos are freely available for non-commercial use.  Please let us know how it goes.

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Economic History of the Soviet Union Exam

Congratulations, you have made it to the end of Economic History of the Soviet Union! The only thing that stands between you and your certification now is the final exam. The exam is 37 questions made up of multiple choice and true or false. To pass and receive a certification awarded on your profile, you must earn an 80% or higher on the exam. The exam is open note, untimed, and can be retaken as many times as needed. Good Luck!

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