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Russian economist predicting collapse of socialist economy dies

January 09, 2014, 12:27 UTC+3
Nikolai Shmelev is one of the foremen of perestroika (restructuring of the Soviet economy and bureaucracy) launched by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
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Moskovsky Komsomolets called academician Nikolai Shmelev, who died on January 7 at the age of 77, as one of the brightest representatives of the most creative generation of the Soviet intelligentia.
He belonged to the so-called generation of Russia’s men of the sixties - a circle of people who paved the way for the 1991 revolution, which destroyed the country’s communist ideology. But those people who plotted it were disappointed by the revolution results. This was a great and tragic generation, whose representatives saw drawbacks and blind alleys of the Soviet regime and searched for the ways of overcoming them.
Nikolai Shmelev is one of the foremen of perestroika (restructuring of the Soviet economy and bureaucracy) launched by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. He is one of those men of the sixties, who in his early years had access to the upper echelons of power, being married to a granddaughter of the former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Their divorce in 1962 could not but affect Shmelev’s career, but he had already managed to achieve much. He was an academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, prominent economist, brilliant writer, laureate of many literary awards. But in Russia’s history he will go down as an author of the article “Advances and Debts” published in 1987.
The main message of his article is that socialism has degenerated into an administrative system. This is a blind alley. “No one is satisfied with the state of our economy. Two of its major, “built-in” flaws, the producer’s monopoly in the face of general scarcity, and the enterprises’ lack of interest in scientific-technological progress are probably obvious to everyone.” Nowadays this quote from Shmelev’s article remains very up-to-date, Moskovsky Komsomolets writes.

 

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