The problems with the economy which were evident from the first years of the planning system led to a number of attempts to reform it. In the 1930s the Stakhanovite movement, which rewarded individual workers for performing feats of high production, sought to encourage the workforce as a whole to work harder. Other campaigns and disciplinary measures were aimed at the same end of increasing productivity. In the 1950s and early 1960s, Nikita Khrushchev tackled the system itself, trying to devolve a certain amount of decision-making to the local level and reorganising the Party and the central ministries. The backlash against these measures, which led to Khrushchev’s downfall, showed how the vested interests of local officials, enterprise directors and even workers, militated against any thoroughgoing reform. Half-hearted attempts in the early Brezhnev years, aimed at introducing incentives for higher production by allowing enterprises to dispose of their own excess profits, were quickly abandoned in the face of apathy. No further significant attempts at reforming either the political or the economic system were made until the 1980s.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- Early Attempts at Reform
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number