History of Market Socialism
Concerning Lenin and NEP and Market Socialism the revisionists have had a field day here.The difficulties of representing Lenin as a market socialist even by opportunists skilled in quoting out of context are enormous.
Therefore statements including Lenin in market socialists are bare dogmatic statements unsupported by even a pretence of historical evidence.
What little pretence of historical evidence there is depends on the quotation out of context of statements made by Lenin on the introduction of the New Econonic Policy in 1921.
There was no talk of commodity socialism by Lenin on October 17th 1921 Vol 33 page 65-66.
"The capitalists will gain by our policy and will create and industrial proletariat which in our country owing to the war, has become declassed, ie dislodged from its class grove and has ceased to exist as a proletariat.
The restoration of capitalism will mean the restoration of the proletarian class."
Other statements by Lenin in this period
"The choice is between economic relations of this type or nothing at all Vol 32 page 224
"Commodity exchange and freedom of trade inevitably imply the appearance of capitalist relationships page 385
Lenin did not represent the extention of commodity relations as a feature of the transition to socialism. He knew very well and said very clearly that capitalism was the fullest development of commodity relations.
It is only the modern revisionists who make the absurd statements that the extention of commodity relationships is a feature of the transition between capitalism to socialism.
Lenin showed that the extention of the NEP was a feature of the transition from pre capitalist relations to socialism (page 349). Russia he said requires a "whole series of special transitional measures that would be superflous in highly developled capitalist countries where wage workers in industry and agriculture make up the vast majority" (page 214)
The Soviet revisionist economist Leontyev asserts:
"Marxist- Leninist literature has proved as entirely groundless the idea that Marx and Engels and Lenin picture Socialism as a natural economy without commodity money relations and the pertinent economic categories"
World Marxist Review May 1968.
We need only need to refer to Anti Duhuring to give the lie to this. Or to Marx's statement in Capital Vol One p 77 that in a socialist economy the allocation of resources among various possible uses will be done consciously and directly, in essentailly the same way as Robinson Crusoe allocated his resources.
In the case of Lenin there are very definite statements made in the Agrarian Question in 1908
"So long as exchange remains it is ridiculous to talk of socialism. And Socialism, as is known means the abolition of commodity economy"
There could hardly be a more definite repudiation of commodity socialism than that and Lenin follows directly in the line of similar comments from Marx and Engels and later Stalin.
Of course the one man who is never quoted but who was a market socialist was Trotsky who said in "Soviet Economy in Danger" in 1933 the categorical statement
"Economic accounting is unthinkable without market relations"