Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Here’s our profit!

Here’s our profit!
V. Koretsky, 1965

By 1964 Khrushchev’s reforms in industry and agriculture were not quite successful. Growth was slowing down, erection of Berlin Wall and Cuban Missile Crisis damaged greatly the image of USSR in Europe and worsen the relations with USA. The political course which implied renewal of the party staff received hostile reception in the Communist Party, which was enjoying relative peace after death of Stalin in 1952.

So Khrushchev was dismissed and Leonid Brezhnev came to power. To cope with the problems the economic reforms were announced in 1965. They implied giving industrial enterprises more control over their own production and some flexibility over wages. The reforms were aimed at turning the enterprises' economic objectives toward making a profit, allowing them to forward some of the profits either to motivate personnel or self-financing. Prime Minister Alexsey Kosygin believed that these moves could lead to significant increase in production output and to fundamental changes in the country’s economy in future.

But the political system and the planned economy remained unchanged and the suggested measures were partly buried into bureaucracy or just not carried out all. And although the growth did happen, the country was advancing on the momentum of the past, using up the previously built resources.

The poster shows a hand with a Soviet Ruble – in the sixties this was a monetary unit of a significant value. The coin reflects block-of-flats with signs like “Kindergarten” being constructed, factories and electric lines being built and some machinery. The message is quite clear – now it is the economical effectiveness in a form of money, which is the main goal of work.
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