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Economics; Historical Studies
Project Advisor 1
"…the socialization of industry means by its very essence a transference of responsibility in economic leadership to science, to an extent quite unknown in capitalist economics." --EA Preobrazhensky Forward to the First Edition of The New Economics (1926)
With the administrative takeover of the Russian Communist Party following the death of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin) (1924) in the mid-1920s, the militarized forced collectivization of the Russian peasantry in the early 1930s and the show trials and execution of virtually every leading member of the original Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP) between 1936 and 1938 a blow was dealt to the aspirations of millions of class conscious working people, to the long struggle to transcend the dominion of capital and material accumulation over human life, and to the practice and discipline of scientific socialism.
Evgeny (Eugene) Alexeyevich Preobrazhensky, ( (February 27, 1886 - July 13, 1937) was an early adherent of the Bolshevik faction of the RSDLP, from 1903, a candidate member of the Central Committee of the Bolsheviks elected at the Sixth Party Congress (July 1917), a leader of the party in the Urals at the time of the October Revolution, Communist Party secretary preceding Stalin, holder of key central offices during the early1920’s, significant ones in the early 1930’s, and a leading voice of the Bolshevik opposition in the 1920s. In the years immediately preceding Stalin’s assumption of the party post ‘General Secretary’ Preobrazhensky served in its central secretariat. He was a self-described “professional revolutionary,” and working-class militant, a party leader, organizer, functionary, educator, thinker and writer for the full extent of his adult life. He was also a prescient and scientifically disciplined political economist whose insights transcended the intense factional party debates of the Soviet Union during the New Economic Policy (NEP) period (approximately 1921-1928).
Preobrazhensky’s writings on a range of economic problems have grown in influence over the past five decades and are increasingly cited in works on alternative economic theory, in the interpretation of Marx’ analysis, and the field of “development economics” as well as providing insight into the study of the history of the Soviet Union and theoretical models for the construction of both socialist and mixed or market socialist economies.
Preobrazhensky’s book, The New Economics (1965) is his most influential and thoroughly developed work. In the New Economics Preobrazhensky describes the conflict between the emerging Soviet State in its attempt to develop industry along planned lines and the broad operation of market forces remnant from the Russian empire as well as the new market forces created by the peasant revolution which accompanied the Bolshevik seizure of power.
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Fiering, Benjamin, "E.A. Preobrazhensky's New Economics: Primitive Accumulation and the Democratic Dictatorship of the Proletariat and Peasantry; Political Biography, Historical Context, Contemporary Relevance" (2013). Senior Projects Fall 2013. 40.