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51

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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peasants’ produce was given up, and instead a tax
in kind was imposed, consisting mainly of corn;
and for the rest the peasant was given the right to
sell his produce as he liked within the country.

The immediate result of this alteration was, of
course, that the home trade had to be liberated,
first the retail trade, and then the general economic
intercourse, which is so important that it led to the
creation of the whole financial organisation which I
shall describe in a later chapter.

This was all the more significant, since the Soviet
Government had tried, in accordance with
Communist principles, completely to suppress the money
system, as mentioned above.

The resuscitation of trade brought with it a
circulation and distribution of goods which was
certainly rather modest when we think of the
statistics from before the war, but which was
otherwise quite remarkable. Meanwhile, the
Government found it continually more difficult to cover the
deficit on the State’s production.

When it was seen that the moment was
approaching when transport and industry and the States
machinery for distribution would have used up all
the supplies and emptied the State treasury, an
attempt was made to escape bankruptcy by taking
advantage of this new stream of life.

While they continued to be the State’s official
purveyors, supplying the needs of the Army and
the needs of a part of the people, the productive
undertakings and public services had themselves
to obtain part of what they needed by accepting

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