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70

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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70 RUSSIA AND PEACE
bution had been nationalised, and was directly
dependent on the State. But after the spring of
1 92 1 the home trade or inland trade was again
released, and little by little it has east off to a
considerable extent the shackles that cramped its
development.
It is unnecessary to point out further that the
Soviet Government’s suppression of private trading
was a grave error ; that its attempt to organise
economic life without money, and to distribute its
products by means of State institutions, was an
utter failure.
The majority of Bolshevik leaders admitted this,
and sought to excuse these unsatisfactory measures
by asserting that they were merely a further
development of the same policy of State socialism
to which the Tsarist and Kerenski Governments,
as well as many other Governments, resorted during
the war. The explanation, which is not without
an element of truth, shows how greatly the ideas
of the Soviet leaders have changed, for it is obvious
that pure Communism in practice means the
socialising both of wealth and its production.
In terms suited to the Soviet journals in which
his article appeared in December, 1922, M. Lejava,
President of the Home Trade Commission of the
Council for Defence and Labour, has described the
changes brought about by the new economic policy.
The disturbance of trade began as far back as the com-
mencement of the imperialist war. The introduction of
militarism in industry, the regulation of prices, the cessation
of foreign trade, the increased issue of notes, the high prices,
and speculation—all this began with the first days of the war,

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