In the GDR, there was a great system in which the workers could directly influence the drafting of the economic plans. A preliminary draft was made by the planning commission, which was then sent to the combines and factories for consideration. Then, workers had the opportunity to make suggestions (which influenced the final plan a great deal), and if the majority of workers demanded a certain change in the plan, it was accepted.
Now, my simple question is: Was there something similar or comparable in the USSR?
I'm asking because this aspect of proletarian democracy was one of the main factors that convinced me that socialism really is more democratic than capitalism, and that "people's democracy" can really exist and work in practice and not only on paper, so I'd be glad to hear something similar about the Motherland.
I never knew that about the DDR. Can you post some sources?
I read it in "Politische Ökonomie: Kapitalismus/Sozialismus" (that translates to "Political Economy: Capitalism/Socialism", kinda obvious). That was the most important textbook for political economy in the GDR. Basically everybody who studied Marxism-Leninism at universities had to know it by heart, and this is fully justified because it really is a fantastic book.
Its first half (that explains capitalist political economy) is almost like a better, updated version of Capital. It's more easily understandable than Capital and explains really everything from what a commodity is to how state monopoly capitalism functions. Its second half, explaining socialist political economy, is even better. Somebody should translate this book to English.
Yeah. On this pic, you might not see that it has well over 900 pages, though. It looks like a pocket book.
Was expecting a bit more of a design on the front cover other then a green arrow
That's the wrapper. The actual thing is just brown, with the title in golden letters.
Are there English editions, or similar books in English?
Unfortunately no. I wish there was someone in German would would translate it
If that's a request... forget it. If I ever get my hands on it again I might translate some of the more interesting passages though because it's such an awesome book that everyone should have the possiblity of reading at least some of it.
How do you know it's awesome if you've never read it?
read the fragging thread.
Meh, just in case anyone's interested: I've just found a cool graphic that illustrates how planning worked in the GDR.
Since this is in German, you won't understand anything.
Here's how it goes:
The planning process takes one year. In December, the National Planning Commission drafted a general plan project which had to be approved by the Council of Ministers. After it was approved in May, the NPC turned this into concrete tasks that were submitted to the ministries. The ministries then substantiated these tasks, by giving specific sub-tasks to each enterprise. In the enterprises, the plans were discussed with the workers, who then had the opportunity to give their opinion and demand changes to the plan until October. This changed plan was then submitted to parliament, where it was passed as a law, and released to the general public in December. After the enterprises had begun to carry out their specific tasks, they'd begin to employ "Gegenpläne" (counter plans/negative plans... meh, unsure how to translate that.) which were enterprise-specific plans that were drafted by the enterprises to achieve overachievements. (Produce more than the plan demanded, etc.)
Awesome system, huh >.<?
Alternative Display:Mobile view