Written by BBC
On April 5th, Reuters published an article titled, “How to promote growth? Domestic investments? Outward expansionism? The Soviet Union desperately needs both” The Article argued that the USSR should promote both its communist ideology abroad and invest in domestic ventures, claiming that, “both are desperately needed for the Soviet Union’s growth both ideologically and economically.” While the BBC does not take a stance on political ideologies, the economic accuracy of this statement is questionable and deserves addressing.
The USSR, as a communist state still following Stalin’s form of state market controls, prohibits individuals from owning large businesses or having multiple employees outside of their families. This, intentionally, keeps large corporations from forming. Instead, the state controls the markets. Presumably, since this is an integral part of the USSR’s communism, they would be exporting this ideology abroad.
How then, would the USSR invest in domestic ventures? There are no domestic ventures besides those run by the state. If the USSR wishes to make investments, it must do so by investing abroad in countries that have less stringent forms of communism, such as Yugoslavia, or which are not communist. The Article cites plans to invest in domestic agriculture or infrastructure, but these will not aid the USSR’s slow economy beyond what is already being done. The USSR needs to either shift its ideology to repair its economy, or accept less stringent forms of communism in its allies in order to support the parts of the soviet economy which run less efficiently under the state.