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On Socialist Mode of Production
The Fundamental Economic Law of Socialism
The nature of economic laws under socialism.
As a result of the replacement of the old, bourgeois production relations by socialist production relations, the economic laws of capitalism, which express the relations of exploitation of man by man, lose their force. The laws of surplus value and capitalist profit, the basic economic law of modern capitalism, are leaving the stage. The universal law of capitalist accumulation, the law of competition and anarchy of production, and others cease to operate. The categories that express capitalist relations disappear: capital, surplus value, profit on capital, the price of production, wage labor, the cost of labor power, etc.
With the emergence and development of socialist production relations, on the basis of new economic conditions, new economic laws arise and begin to operate: the basic economic law of socialism, the law of the planned (proportional) development of the national economy, the law of a steady increase in labor productivity, the law of distribution according to work, and others.
Since commodity production is preserved under socialism, the law of value operates in a socialist economy and there are categories associated with it. However, what remains of the old categories is mainly the form, while their content changes radically. The old is not completely abolished, but changes its nature in relation to the new, retaining only the form; the new does not just destroy the old, but penetrates into the old, changes its nature and functions, while it uses the old form to grow and strengthen the new. The new economic conditions that have taken shape as a result of the victory of socialism are changing the nature of commodity production and commodity circulation and limiting their scope. Under socialism commodity production and commodity circulation exist without capitalists and serve the socialist economy. The scope of the law of value is strictly limited. Money, trade, banks are used as instruments of socialist construction.
The development of the socialist mode of production is also subject to economic laws that are common to all formations, such as the law of the obligatory correspondence of production relations to the nature of the productive forces.
The economic laws of socialism express relations of comradely cooperation and mutual assistance of workers free from exploitation, while the economic laws of capitalism express the growing exploitation of labor by capital. The action of the economic laws of socialism leads to an ever greater strengthening of the unity of socialist society, to the flourishing of its economy, to an increase in the well-being of the people, and creates conditions for a gradual transition to communism, while the action of the economic laws of bourgeois society causes an ever greater aggravation of class antagonisms, the impoverishment of the masses, and the decay of capitalist society. building and ultimately his death.
The economic laws of socialism, like the economic laws of any other mode of production, arise and act independently of the will of people, that is, they are objective . They cannot be created, formed, transformed, or abolished by the will of the people.
Denying the objective nature of the economic laws of socialism would mean the liquidation of the political economy of socialism as a science, would deprive socialist society of the possibility of foreseeing the course of events in the economic life of the country and establishing even the most elementary economic leadership. Such a denial is a departure from Marxism to the position of subjective idealism; it inevitably leads to adventurism in politics, to arbitrariness in the practice of managing the economy.
The objective nature of the economic laws of socialism does not at all mean that they act like an elemental force dominating people, that people are allegedly powerless in the face of economic laws. Such a fetishization of economic laws inevitably leads to positions of the theory of gravity and spontaneity in socialist construction. It is deeply hostile to Marxism-Leninism. Under socialism, in view of the replacement of private ownership of the means of production by social ownership, the possibilities for the knowledge and use of the laws of economic development by society are greatly expanded.
If the economic laws of capitalism make their way as a blind, destructive force acting behind the backs of private commodity producers, then with the transition to socialism the anarchy of production disappears, and the economic development of society acquires a planned character. With the liquidation of capitalism and the socialization of the means of production, people become masters of their social and economic relations. Having learned the objective laws, people apply them quite consciously in the interests of the whole society.
With the transition to socialism, Engels pointed out, “the laws of their own social actions, which have hitherto opposed people as alien laws of nature dominating them, will be applied by people with full knowledge of the matter, therefore, will be subject to their domination. The social existence of people, which until now has opposed them, as imposed from above by nature and history, now becomes their own free affair. The objective, alien forces that have hitherto dominated history come under the control of man himself. And only from that moment on people will begin to create their own history quite consciously, only then the social causes set in motion by them will have, to a significant and ever-increasing degree, the consequences they desire”  . This is freedom as a recognized necessity.
Under capitalism, to the extent that the bourgeoisie is able to cognize the objective economic laws, it uses them in narrow class interests that are in conflict with the interests of the working masses. Under socialism, since the class interests of the proletariat merge with the interests of the overwhelming majority of society, economic laws are applied in the interests of the masses. The interests of the working class, the working people fully correspond to the objective course of the progressive development of society, leading to the victory of socialism. The working class, all working people, are vitally interested in knowing and using the laws of economic development.
Thus, the objective character of the economic laws of socialism consists in the fact that these laws exist independently of the will and consciousness of people; they cannot be abolished or transformed by the will of the people; failure to comply with the requirements of these laws inevitably leads to a breakdown in the economic life of the country. But socialist society can recognize these laws, master them, and use them in its own interests.
The economic laws of socialism make it possible to develop and advance the socialist economy. To turn this possibility into reality , it is necessary to learn how to apply these objective economic laws with full knowledge of the matter. Scientific knowledge and the correct application of objective economic laws are the basis of the economic policy of the Communist Party and the socialist state. The more fully socialist society cognizes economic laws, the more accurately it reflects the requirements of these laws in its practical activities, the more successfully it achieves its goals.
Essential features of the basic economic law of socialism.
Marx and Engels foresaw that under socialism the goal of planned production would be to satisfy the needs of both society as a whole and each of its members. Developing this Marxist position, Lenin wrote in the draft program of the RSDLP in 1902 that the replacement of capitalist society by socialist society would be carried out "to ensure the complete well-being and free all-round development of all its members"  . Lenin scientifically substantiated ways to improve the well-being of the working people, a program for the continuous growth of production, the development and application of higher technology under socialism. Thus, Lenin revealed the initial provisions of the basic economic law of socialism, which formed the basis of the policy of the Communist Party and Soviet power.
Based on these provisions, Stalin gave a detailed formulation of the basic economic law of socialism.
The essential features and requirements of the basic economic law of socialism are "ensuring the maximum satisfaction of the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the whole society through the continuous growth and improvement of socialist production on the basis of higher technology"  .
The fundamental economic law of socialism expresses the goal of socialist production and the means to achieve it.
The purpose of production is determined by the relations of ownership of the means of production. When the means of production belong to the bourgeoisie, production is inevitably carried on to enrich the owners of capital, and the working people, that is, the overwhelming majority of society, serve only as raw human material for exploitation. The consumption of workers is necessary for capitalism only to the extent that it ensures the extraction of profits, therefore man with his needs cannot be the goal of production here. When the means of production belong to the working people and the exploiting classes have been eliminated, production is carried on in the interests of the working people, that is, of the entire socialist society. Therefore, the most complete satisfaction of the growing material and cultural needs of people becomes the immediate goal of production.
The goal to which production is subordinated is inextricably linked with the means that ensure the achievement of this goal. In accordance with the goal of socialist production - the satisfaction of the growing needs of the working people - the means to achieve this goal can only be the continuous growth and improvement of socialist production on the basis of higher technology.
Satisfaction of the needs of the population depends on the level of the productive forces, on the available resources at the disposal of socialist society. The systematic growth of the needs of the working people necessitates a continuous expansion of production. Without a continuous rise in production, it is impossible to ensure a steady increase in national consumption. In turn, the steady growth of the working people's needs and their purchasing power is a necessary condition without which production cannot continuously move forward.
Under socialism, the main contradiction of capitalism, between the social character of production and the private capitalist form of appropriation, has been eliminated. Therefore, socialism knows no antagonism between production and consumption. The basic economic law of socialism creates the possibility of harmonizing the growing purchasing power of the population with a simultaneous increase in production. Under capitalism, the beggarly level of consumption, the purchasing power of the masses of the people, constantly lags behind production, slows it down, as a result of which the development of the economy is carried out intermittently - from crisis to recovery and from recovery to crisis. Socialist society, on the other hand, thanks to the systematic increase in popular consumption, is guaranteed against crises of overproduction and, consequently, has the possibility of a continuous expansion of production.
In a socialist society, the contradiction between the level of socialist production reached at any given moment and the rapidly growing needs of the masses is resolved by raising production, which leads to an increase in the consumption of the working people and to a new increase in needs, causing a further expansion of production. Thus, the constant growth of the material and cultural needs of the people serves under socialism as a powerful driving stimulus for the continuous development of production.
A necessary condition for the uninterrupted growth of socialist production is the preferential, that is, relatively faster, development of the branches producing the means of production as compared with the development of the branches producing articles of personal consumption. The priority development of heavy industry and its core, machine building, is the main source of the advance of the socialist national economy as a whole, a necessary condition for technical progress. Without the predominant growth of heavy industry, which supplies all branches of the national economy with equipment, machinery, fuel, and energy, it is impossible to systematically expand production in the branches engaged in the production of goods for the population and ensure the satisfaction of the growing needs of the working people.
The continuous growth of socialist production requires its constant improvement, improvement of production methods, and a steady increase in the productivity of social labor. This is impossible without a constant increase in the technical level of production, the replacement of obsolete equipment with new ones. Therefore, the development of higher technology is the basis for the continuous growth and improvement of socialist production.
Socialist relations of production have opened up unprecedented scope for technical progress, while in bourgeois society the progress of technology is limited by the limits of securing maximum profit. If capitalism is characterized by unevenness and periodic interruptions in the development of technology, then socialism is characterized by the continuous improvement of technology in all branches of production.
The higher the level of technology, the more resources socialist society has to meet the growing needs of the working people. The economic system of socialism creates a direct interest of the working people in an increase in production and in the wide application of advanced technology. In turn, this interest of the people in the development of socialist production serves as a constantly active factor in the development of the creative initiative of the broad masses, aimed at improving production in every possible way.
Thus, it follows from the goal of socialist production that the development of production has become the vital concern of the working people themselves. This is the greatest source of the uninterrupted advance of the socialist economy.
The fundamental economic law plays a decisive role among the economic laws of socialism. It determines all the main aspects and all the main processes of development of socialist production.
The basic economic law of socialism and the growth of the welfare of the working people.
The basic economic law of socialism expresses the fundamental advantages of the socialist system over the capitalist one. The action of the basic economic law of modern capitalism leads to a growing retardation of the development of the productive forces, to the growing impoverishment of the working masses, to the enslavement and systematic plunder of the peoples of backward countries and colonies, to the militarization of the economy and to bloody wars that exterminate millions of people. The action of the fundamental economic law of socialism leads to a powerful upsurge of the productive forces, a systematic rise in the material and cultural level of the working people, to the development of a peaceful economy, and to the strengthening of peaceful co-operation among peoples.
Soviet society from year to year increases the mass of material goods produced in the entire national economy, ensures the uninterrupted nature and high rates of development of socialist production. Soviet industry is steadily advancing along an ascending line on the basis of an increase in civilian production.
In 1939, the volume of industrial output compared to the level of 1929 was: in the USSR - 552%, in the USA - 99%, in England - 123%, in France - 80%. Despite the colossal destruction inflicted on the Soviet national economy during the war years, the pre-war level of production in the USSR was soon significantly exceeded. As a result, the volume of industrial output in the USSR in 1953 increased by almost 16 times in comparison with 1929.
US industrial production from 1929 to 1939 marked time, then it rose due to an increase in military production and the arms race and in 1953 exceeded the 1929 level by a little more than 2 times. The industrial production of England in 1953 was more than in 1929, by only 62%, in France - by 5%.
The continuous growth of socialist production constitutes a solid material basis for the constant improvement of the material and cultural standard of living of the Soviet people. In socialist society, the miserable level of consumption of the masses, inherent in the bourgeois system, has been overcome. Under socialism, the mass of the product created by labor for itself and going into the personal consumption of the working people invariably increases. There is also an increase in the mass of the product created by labor for society and used to expand production and satisfy the material and cultural needs of the working people.
In accordance with the requirements of the basic economic law of socialism in the USSR, there is a steady increase in the real incomes of the population and a systematic increase in the amount of consumer goods purchased by the population at declining prices.
The real incomes of the working people of the USSR (that is, incomes calculated taking into account changes in prices) increased, calculated per worker, as follows: for workers in 1940, compared with 1913, taking into account the elimination of unemployment, more than three times ; the peasants - about three and a half times; in 1952, the incomes of workers and employees increased by 68% compared with 1940, and the incomes of the peasants by about 72 per cent. In 1953, the total income of workers, employees and peasants increased by another 13% compared to 1952.
The volume of production of consumer goods in large-scale industry in the USSR in comparable prices increased in comparison with 1913: in 1940 - 7.6 times, and in 1953 - 14 times.
A constantly acting factor in the growth of the real incomes of the working people of the USSR is the provision by the Soviet state of the population on a large scale of free cultural and everyday services, pensions, allowances, stipends, benefits, etc. In the Soviet Union there is a system of social insurance and social security inaccessible to capitalism.
Socialism means the continuous improvement of the working and living conditions of the masses. It transforms public services for the population from a means of profit for the capitalists into a source of raising the standard of living of the people. While capitalism increasingly worsens the living conditions of the working people, forcing them to live in slums, socialism ensures a steady improvement in the living conditions of the population. In the USSR, thanks to public ownership of the basic housing stock in the cities and large-scale state housing construction, urban slums have been liquidated, and unsatisfactory dwellings are increasingly being replaced by new, well-appointed houses.
In bourgeois countries, medical care, being a private matter, is mainly in the hands of capitalist entrepreneurs, is provided mainly for high pay, and therefore is inaccessible to the broad masses of the population. The USSR has created a multilateral public health system that provides the population with all types of medical care free of charge.
Socialism opens up wide opportunities for the cultural growth of the working people, for the development of abilities and talents, of which the people have an inexhaustible spring. While capitalism allows the education of the working people only within those very narrow limits dictated by the interests of capitalist exploitation, socialism creates the conditions for ever more complete satisfaction of the rapidly growing needs of the masses in the field of education, culture, science and art. “Earlier,” Lenin said in 1918, “the whole human mind, all its genius, created only to give some all the benefits of technology and culture, while depriving others of the most necessary thing - enlightenment and development. Now all the wonders of technology, all the achievements of culture will become the property of the whole people, and henceforth never will the human mind and genius be turned into means of violence, into means of exploitation. .
The satisfaction of the growing cultural needs of the people is ensured in the USSR by extensive measures in the field of cultural development: free education and advanced training, scholarships for students, the systematic expansion of the network of schools, cultural and educational institutions, libraries, clubs, an increase in the output of printed publications, etc.
The number of students in the USSR in all types of education increased from 8 million in 1914 to 49 million in 1940 and 57 million in 1952. At the same time, the number of students in secondary schools (grades 5–10) and in secondary technical educational institutions increased from 0.7 million people in 1914 to 14.8 million in 1940 and 21.4 million people in 1953. The number of students in higher educational institutions increased from 117 thousand in 1914 to 812 thousand in 1940 and up to 1,562 thousand people in 1953. The number of teachers and teachers in all educational institutions and educators in children's institutions in 1953 amounted to more than 2 million people and exceeded their number compared to 1914 by almost 10 times.
Relying on the basic economic law of socialism, the Communist Party and the Soviet state are pursuing a policy that ensures a steady rise in the well-being and cultural level of the masses.
The economic role of the socialist state.
The objective economic laws operating under socialism are recognized and used by the socialist state in the practice of communist construction. The success of economic policy depends primarily on how correctly it reflects in its activities the requirements of economic laws.
The character of the socialist state is determined by the economic basis of socialism. The socialist system of economy, the ownership of the means of production by the working people corresponds to the political power of the working people, headed by the working class. If the policy of the modern bourgeois state expresses the interests of the capitalist monopolies and is aimed at increasing their profits, then the policy of the socialist state, the state of the workers and peasants, expresses the fundamental, vital interests of the working people and enjoys the undivided support of the masses of the people.
In accordance with the fundamental economic law of socialism, the main duty of the socialist state is to provide the best possible satisfaction for the ever-growing needs of the masses of the people. “In the field of domestic policy, our main concern is to steadily achieve a further improvement in the material well-being of the workers, collective farmers, the intelligentsia, and all Soviet people. The law for our Party and the Government is the obligation to unremittingly care for the welfare of the people, for the maximum satisfaction of their material and cultural needs”  .
From the nature of socialist relations of production flows a new economic role, hitherto unknown in history, for the socialist state. The Soviet state is the owner of at least 9/10 of all the country 's means of production. Thanks to public ownership of the means of production, the state was able, relying on the economic laws of socialism and consciously applying them in its activities, to carry out planned management of the national economy, to perform an economic and organizational function. Such a role is inaccessible to the bourgeois state due to private capitalist ownership of the means of production and the spontaneous nature of the economic development of capitalist society.
The socialist state takes into account the diverse needs of society and, in accordance with these growing needs, steadily develops and improves production. In accordance with real conditions - domestic and international - at each stage it determines the specific tasks of economic construction, sets the direction and pace of development of the national economy. It takes into account not only the results of the past, but also the emerging trends of future development and carries out its economic and organizational function on the basis of scientific foresight. The advanced social science - Marxism-Leninism - serves as the theoretical basis for the many-sided activity of the socialist state.
The economic and organizational and cultural and educational work of the Soviet state embraces all aspects of the life of socialist society. The Soviet state exercises planned management and management of state enterprises in all branches of the economy. The state and its bodies appoint heads of state enterprises, their associations and entire industries and control their work. The state plans the national economy of the country: it distributes material, labor, financial resources, determines the growth rate of the productivity of social labor, the volume and structure of production, the country's domestic and foreign trade turnover, the prices of state and cooperative trade goods, the level of wages of workers and employees, etc. . The Soviet state directs the economic life of the collective farms and directs the collective farms through the local Soviets, the MTS, through the system of elected bodies of the agricultural artel, while taking into account the peculiarities of the collective farms as cooperative enterprises. It promotes in every way the strengthening of the alliance between the working class and the peasantry and the expansion of economic ties between town and country.
The Soviet state guarantees citizens the real exercise of such vital rights as the right to work, the right to education, the right to material security in the event of loss of working capacity and in old age. It is implementing a system of measures to ensure an abundance of industrial and food products in the country and to sharply raise the living standards of the working people. In accordance with this, on the basis of the successes achieved in the development of heavy industry, the state organizes a sharp upswing in agriculture, in industry producing goods for the population, and in Soviet trade.
The Soviet state directs all branches of culture: public education, the training of qualified personnel, the development of advanced science and art, and the application of scientific and technological achievements in production.
The strength of the Soviet state apparatus lies in its connection with the masses of the people. It follows from the essence of the socialist system that centralized state leadership must be combined with the initiative of the localities, with specific consideration of local characteristics.
The most important principle of state management of the economy is the unity of economic and political work. “In practice, politics and economy are inseparable. They exist together and act together. And whoever thinks in our practical work to separate economics from politics, to intensify economic work at the cost of diminishing political work, or, conversely, to strengthen political work at the cost of diminishing economic work, he will inevitably fall into a dead end .
The leading and organizing force of the Soviet state is the Communist Party, which directs the activities of all state organs and public organizations of the working people. The Party issues directives for drawing up national economic plans and develops major economic measures that are of vital importance for the entire country. The Party, strong in its ties with the working masses, mobilizes the workers, collective farmers, and intelligentsia to carry out economic and political tasks, educates the masses, raises their communist consciousness. The policy of the Communist Party and the socialist state, aimed at satisfying the new, urgent needs of the economic development of society, plays the greatest progressive role.
The development of the socialist mode of production takes place in the order of the struggle of the new against the old, the emerging against the dying, the progressive against the backward, by overcoming contradictions and difficulties. These contradictions are non-antagonistic in nature since they are not connected with opposing class interests and are overcome in the course of socialist construction.
In a socialist society there are no exploiting classes, but there are backward elements, bearers of private property tendencies and skills, who oppose the development of new, progressive tendencies in the socialist economy, there are still plunderers of public property, bureaucratic elements that neglect the needs of the people, the survivals of capitalism in the minds of people have not yet been completely overcome. The Soviet state, led by the Communist Party, encourages the initiative of the working people, and supports progressive tendencies in all spheres of public life. The Soviet state carefully supports the sprouts of the new, strengthens them, promotes the introduction and dissemination of advanced methods of production; it is waging a stubborn struggle against all inert forces hindering the rapid development of socialist production.
One of the main forms of struggle between the new and the old under socialism is criticism and self-criticism, which are a powerful driving force in the development of socialist society. Criticism and self-criticism make it possible, on the basis of mobilizing the activity of the popular masses, to reveal and eliminate shortcomings and difficulties in work, to identify new reserves for accelerating the pace of economic development, and thereby overcome the contradictions of socialist society.
Aggressive imperialist circles seek to unleash a war against the USSR and the countries of people's democracy, to carry out subversive work in these countries by organizing sabotage, sabotage, and terrorist acts. This expresses the antagonistic contradiction between the USSR and the forces of imperialist aggression. The existence of an imperialist camp requires the Soviet state to strengthen in every possible way the economic might of the USSR and its defense capability.
The state of workers and peasants, using the advantages of the socialist economic system and guided by economic laws, directs the development of Soviet society along the road to communism.
1. The economic laws of socialism are objective laws independent of the will and consciousness of people. They express relations of comradely cooperation and socialist mutual assistance of workers free from exploitation. The economic laws of socialism do not act as a blind, destructive force; they are recognized and used by socialist society. The Communist Party and the socialist state proceed in their economic policy from the economic laws of socialism.
2. The basic economic law of socialism determines all the main aspects and all the main processes of development of the socialist mode of production, the goal of socialist production and the means for achieving this goal. The essential features and requirements of the basic economic law of socialism are to ensure maximum satisfaction of the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the whole society through continuous growth and improvement of production on the basis of higher technology.
3. Under socialism, the growth of needs (the purchasing power of the masses) is the engine of socialist production and pushes it forward. The continuous growth of socialist production serves as the material basis for a steady rise in people's consumption. A necessary condition for the continuous growth of socialist production is the predominant development of the production of the means of production. Socialism ensures the steady development of advanced technology, which is necessary for the uninterrupted growth of socialist production, which more and more fully satisfies the growing needs of the working people.
4. In accordance with the constant increase in the mass of the product for themselves and the product for society, the size of the real incomes of the working people is systematically increased. Socialism means the constant improvement of the working and living conditions of people. It opens up the broadest possibilities for cultural construction, turning all the benefits of technology, science, and culture into the property of the whole people.
5. Expressing the vital interests of the people, the socialist state, led by the Communist Party, develops its economic-organizational and cultural-educational activities more and more widely. The development of the socialist mode of production occurs in order to overcome contradictions and difficulties. Relying on scientific knowledge of objective economic laws and using these laws, the socialist state ensures the victory of the new, progressive over the old in all areas of the economy, directing the development of society along the road to communism.
 F. Engels, Anti-Dühring, 1953, p. 267.
 V. I. Lenin, Draft Program of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, Works, vol. 6, p. 12.
 I. V. Stalin, Economic problems of socialism in the USSR, p. 40.
 V. I. Lenin, Closing remarks before the closing of the III All-Russian Congress of Soviets, Works, vol. 26, p. 436.
 G. M. Malenkov, Speech at the funeral meeting on the day of the funeral of Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin, 1953, p. 10.
 I. V. Stalin, On the Shortcomings of Party Work and Measures to Eliminate Trotskyist and Other Double Dealers, 1938, p. 26.