THE CASPIAN REGION:Politics, Economics, Culture

Scientific journal

Competition in the trade as an example of the mixed economy successful functioning in the 1920s (on materials of the lower Volga region)

2015. №3, pp. 45-49

Vinogradov Sergej V. - D.Sc. (History), Professor, Astrakhan State University, 20Р° Tatishchev st., Astrakhan, 414056, Russian Federation,

This article continues the series of author’s research in the history of mixed economy in the 1920s. This time in the field of vision of the author become the development of such an important sphere of economic as trade. The attempt to restrict the trade, realized by the Bolsheviks during the «war communism», ended to fail dismally at the time of the proclamation of the new economic policy in 1921. There was no other sphere of the economy where revival of private capital 1920s was so powerful and clearly how to trade. At first, it was connect with the ability to quickly return invested and get a high profits. This fact, along with a stable tendency of the middle peasantry not to cross the social border and become prosperous, in despite of the loud appeals of party propagandists, said that the great mass of the population did not believe in the long-term of the new economic policy, because it proclaimed the same policy who carried out the "war communism". Thus, the ordinary citizens of the USSR were the best forecasters than expatriated during the civil war of the country elite. Some of elite marked university degrees and extensive experience in the managing of the Russian Empire economy (S. Prokopovich, L. Pumpyanskiy et al.) to believe in the possibility of change the Bolshevik regime by the new economic policy. The authorities were forced to strengthen the state trade, responding to the economic challenge of the private capital in the trade, but a special stake on the revival of the consumers' cooperatives. State and cooperative trade enterprises were supplied with scarce goods, provided credits on favorable terms, skilled personnel. In this article, on a specific example of the meat trade in Astrakhan, shows how competition between private entrepreneurs and cooperatives has resulted to the destruction of the hidden cartel agreement, to improve the quality of the customer service, and to a significant reduction in prices in the middle of the 1920s. The example of the success cooperation in the retail trade is the activities of the cooperative retail network in Saratov, the other large cities of the Lower Volga region. However, the author shows important shortcomings in the work of the state and cooperative trade, on the examples taken from the archive and public sources. The article concludes that the absence of the competition with private capital in the state and cooperative trade put systemic problems that have become in full measure after the rejection of the mixed economy and the new economic policy. It is deficit, bureaucratization, absent of the stimulus for the initiative and work productivity, etc. The Soviet economic system could not oppose anything these problems, except repressive companies, which were sporadic, and which could improve the situation in the trade.

Key words: СССР, РКП(б), Совнарком, Нижнее Поволжье, Астрахань, Саратов, Астраханский губком РКП(б), Центросоюз, Губсоюз, нэп, государство, смешанная экономика, кооперация, государственная торговля, конкуренция, дефицит, мясо, картель, частный капитал, the USSR, the RCP (B), Council of Peoples Commissars, the Lower Volga region, Astrakhan, Saratov, Astrakhan Provincial Committee of the RCP (b), Central Council, Provincial Committee Council [Gubsoyuz], new economic policy, the state, the mixed economy, cooperatives, the state trade, competition, shortage, meat, the cartel, the private capital