Rediscovering Fire: Basic Economic Lessons from the Soviet Experiment (Google eBook)
In this book, Guinevere Liberty Nell visits this historical laboratory of social science to study the lessons in basic economics that it teaches.
Nell observes that the founders of the Soviet experiment, Lenin and other Bolshevik leaders, wrote volumes of articles and books on Marxist theory and then proceeded to enact the very policies that they promised. Therefore the Soviet experiment provides an ideal lens through which to view the consequences of various interpretations of economic theories and Marxist theories. However, despite the wealth of information available on the Soviet experiment, few writers have closely analyzed this historical process and what lessons it might offer for market economies.
In this book, Nell carefully considers Soviet theory and practice, and draws out the lessons that Soviet planners learned. Each chapter considers one theory; the experience in the Soviet Union of policies based on this theory, and the reforms that planners implemented as the system evolved as well as in response to changes in the local and international conditions; and the lessons for market economies that this experience offers.
Nell's lessons capture the dynamic nature of the economy and illustrate insights from the debate between socialists and Austrian economists. They should be useful and informative not only for readers interested in basic economics, but also for economists interested in heterodox approaches to economic modeling and theory, as well as for the citizen interested in rethinking the assumptions underlying mainstream policy debates.
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Chapter 1 The Real Benefits of Competition
Chapter 2 The Dynamics of Unemployment and Efficiency
The Value of Profit and Loss for the Firm
The Value of Profit and Loss for the Economy
Chapter 5 Middlemen Trade and the Market System
Chapter 6 The High Price of Price Control
Money and the Danger of Centralized Monetary Policy
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