Controlling Soviet Labour: Experimental Change from Brezhnev by Bob Arnot (auth.)

By Bob Arnot (auth.)

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The role of management in the USSR is similar to that of its counterparts under capitalism, but it is more ambiguous and problematic. Under capitalism the performance of a manager or a management team relates directly to their economic results which are mediated through the impersonal market, and their rewards, either salary or more nebulous elements like prestige, are a function of this The Political Economy of the USSR 39 performance. Managerial remuneration packages under capitalism are increasingly composed of salary plus bonuses and so on, but, more importantly, commonly include shares in the company by whom they are employed.

37). For the ordinary worker the holding of money may well be a necessary condition to gain access to use-values, but it need not be a sufficient condition. Evidence for this is the all-pervasive nature of the queue as an allocative mechanism and the continual rise in the level of personal savings. Therefore, the money wage is not the same as under capitalism, as money does not provide unambiguous access to use-values. 1 per cent of the family income of collective farm workers. In fact, these payments are rising faster than individual wages; in the period 1971-81 average wages grew by 45 per cent for workers and employees and 72 per cent for collective farm workers, but per capita payments from the social wage rose 81 per cent in the same period (Peshekhonov, 1983, p.

Manevich suggests that the Soviet agricultural population is eight times that of the USA and in the USSR approximately twenty per cent of the economically active population are involved in agriculture in comparison with three per cent in the USA. 4 show the increasing educational level of both agricultural and manual workers, but they are both still more likely to be less educated than their urban or non-manual worker counterparts. The low prestige afforded to manual work and the ever increasing pressure on working class children to obtain higher education, so that they need not become workers themselves, testifies to the gap between ideological claims and reality.

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