THE CPSU'S TASKS IN PERFECTING SOCIALISM AND MAKING A GRADUAL TRANSITION TO COMMUNISM
I. The Communist Perspective of the USSR and the Need to Accelerate Social and Economic Development
The ultimate goal of the CPSU is to build communism in our country. Socialism and communism are two consecutive phases of one communist formation. There is no distinct line dividing them: the development of socialism, an ever fuller revelation and use of its possibilities and advantages, and the consolidation of the general communist principles characteristic of it - this is what is meant by the actual advance of society to communism.
Communism is a classless social system with one form of public ownership of the means of production and with full social equality of all members of society. Under communism, the all-round development of people will be accompanied by the growth of the productive forces on the basis of continuous progress in science and technology, all the springs of social wealth will flow abundantly, and the great principle "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" will be implemented. Communism is a highly organised society of free, socially conscious working people a society in which public self-government will be established, a society in which labour for the good of society will become the prime vital requirement of everyone, a clearly recognised necessity, and the ability of each person will be employed to the greatest benefit of the people.
The material and technical foundation of communism presupposes the creation of those productive forces that open up opportunities for the full satisfaction of the reasonable requirements of society and the individual. All productive activities under communism will be based on the use of highly efficient technical facilities and technologies, and the harmonious interaction of man and nature will be ensured.
In the highest phase of communism the directly social character of labour and production will become firmly established. Through the complete elimination of the remnants of the old division of labour and the essential social differences associated with it, the process of forming a socially homogeneous society will be completed.
Communism signifies the transformation of the system of socialist self-government by the people, of socialist democracy into the highest form of organisation of society - communist public self-government. With the maturation of the necessary socio-economic and ideologial preconditions and the involvement of all citizens in administration, the socialist state - given appropriate internatioal conditions - will, as Lenin noted, increasingly become a transitional form "from a state to a non-state." The activities of state bodies will become non-political in nature, and the need for the state as a special political institution will gradually disappear.
The inalienable feature of the communist mode of life is a high level of consciousness, social activity, discipline, and self-discipline of members of society, in which observance of the uniform, generally accepted rules of communist conduct will become an inner need and habit of every person.
Communism is a social system under which the free development of each is a condition for the free development of all.
The CPSU does not attempt to foresee in detail the features of complete communism. As society advances towards communism and more experience is accumulated in building it, scientific notions of the highest phase of a new society will become enriched and more concrete.
The growth of socialism into communism is determined by the objective laws of the development of society, laws which cannot be disregarded. Any attempts to move ahead too fast and to introduce communist principles without taking into consideration the level of material and spiritual maturity of society are, as experience has shown, doomed to failure and may cause both economic and political losses.
At the same time, the CPSU believes that there must be no delay in effecting the necessary transformations and solving new tasks. The Party takes into account the fact that along with undeniable successes the 1970s and early 1980s saw certain unfavourable trends and difficulties in the country's development. To a great extent these were due to the failure to assess appropriately and in good time changes in the economic situation and the need for profound transformations in all spheres of life, and to a lack of persistence in carrying them out. This prevented fuller use of the possibilities and advantages of the socialist system and impeded onward movement.
The CPSU believes that under the present domestic and international conditions, the all-round progress of Soviet society, its onward movement towards communism can and must be ensured by accelerating the country's socio-economic development. This is the strategic line of the Party aimed at qualitatively transforming all aspects of life in Soviet society: a radical renewal of its material and technical foundation on the basis of the achievements of the scientific and technological revolution; perfection of social relations, above all economic ones; profound changes in the content and nature of labour and in the material and cultural conditions of the life of people; and invigoration of the entire system of political, social, and ideological institutions.
The Party links the successful solution of the tasks set with an increase in the role of the human factor. Socialist society cannot function effectively without finding new ways of developing the creative activity of the people in all spheres of life. The greater the scope of the historical goals, the more important the interested, responsible, conscious and active participation of millions of people in achieving them.
Soviet society is to reach new heights on the basis of accelerating its social and economic development. This means:
in the economic sphere - raising the national economy to a basically new scientific- technological and organisational-economic level, gearing it towards intensive development; achieving the world's highest level in productivity of social labour, quality of output, and efficiency of production; ensuring an optimal structure and balance for the integral national economic complex of the country; significantly raising the level of the socialisation of labour and production; drawing collective-farm and cooperative property and the property of the people as a whole closer together, with the prospect of their merging in future;
in the social sphere - ensuring a qualitatively new level of people's well-being while consistently implementing the socialist principle of distribution according to work; the establishment of an essentially classless structure of society, the gradual elimination of substantial differences in the socio-economic, cultural, and living standards of town and countryside; an ever more organic combination of physical and mental labour in production activities; further cohesion of the Soviet people as a social and international community; a high level of creative energy and initiative on the part of the masses;
in the political sphere - the development of socialist self-government by the people through ever greater involvement of citizens in running state and public affairs, the perfection of the electoral system, the improvement of the activities of elective bodies of people's power, the enhancement of the role of the trade unions, Komsomol, and other mass organisations of the working people, and an effective use of all forms of representative and direct democracy;
in the sphere of cultural life - the further consolidation of socialist ideology in the minds of Soviet people; full establishment of the moral principles of socialism, of the spirit of collectivism and comradely mutual assistance; bringing the achievements of science and cultural values within the reach of the broadest masses of the population; moulding a harmoniously developed man.
These transformations will bring about a qualitatively new state of Soviet society, which will fully reveal the enormous advantages of socialism in all spheres of life. Thus a historic step will be made on the road to the highest phase of communism. The Party always correlates its policy, economic and social strategy, and the tasks of its organisational and ideological work with the communist perspective.
II. The Economic Strategy of the Party
The task set by the Party to accelerate the social and economic development of the country calls for profound changes primarily in the decisive sphere of human activity - the economy. A sharp turn is to be made towards the intensification of production; every enterprise and every sector is to be reoriented towards the utmost and top-priority use of qualitative factors of economic growth. A transition must be ensured to an economy of supreme organisation and efficiency with comprehensively developed productive forces and production relations, and a smoothly functioning economic mechanism. The country's production potential should double and be renewed fundamentally and qualitatively by the year 2000.
These tasks are being tackled by the Party and the people under the conditions of the further development of the scientific and technological revolution, which is exerting strong influence on all aspects of present-day production, on the entire system of social relations, on man and his environment, and is opening up new prospects for considerably raising labour productivity and for the progress of society as a whole. The historical mission of socialism is to apply the achievements of science, the most advanced and efficient technology, and the growing force of people's creative and collective labour in the building of communism.
Acceleration of Scientific and Technological Progress - the Main Lever for Raising Efficiency in Production
The basic issue in the Party's economic strategy is the acceleration of scientific and technological progress. A new technical reconstruction of the national economy is to be carried out and the material and technical foundation of society thereby transformed.
Of primary importance is a rapid renewal of the production apparatus through extensive introduction of advanced technology, of the most advanced technological processes and flexible production lines that make it possible quickly to put out new products with maximum economic and social effect. It is necessary to complete comprehensive mechanisation in all sectors of the production and non-production spheres and to take a major step to promote the automation of production, involving a transition to automated shops and enterprises and automated control and design systems. Electrification, chemicalisation, robotisation, and computerisation of production will be effected and biotechnology used on an increasingly large scale.
The Party will facilitate in every way the further growth and effective use of the country's scientific and technological potential and the development of scientific research which opens up new opportunities for major, revolutionary changes in the intensification of the economy. The introduction of the latest achievements of science and technology in production, management, public services, and every day life must be ensured everywhere. Science will become in full measure a force directly involved in production.
A considerable increase in labour productivity is to be achieved on the basis of accelerating scientific and technological progress, radical changes in machinery and technology, and mobilisation of all technical organisational economic and social factors. Without this, as Lenin taught, "the full transition to communism is impossible." Labour productivity is to be increased by 130-150 per cent in the coming fifteen years as an important stage on the way to the highest productivity.
Reserves for growth in labour productivity must be used to the utmost at every association, every enterprise, and every work place. It is necessary to reduce the labour intensity of products, to cut the waste of working time, to introduce up to date machinery and technology, strengthen order and discipline, improve norm setting, broadly apply advanced forms of scientific organisation of labour, raise production standards, make work collectives more stable, and encourage the efforts of inventors and innovators,.
Scientific and technological progress should be aimed at a radical improvement in the utilisation of natural resources, raw and other materials, fuel and energy at all stages - from extracting and comprehensive processing of raw materials to the output and use of end products. The rates of reduction of material intensity, metal intensity and power intensity per unit of national income must he increased. Saving of resources will become the decisive means of meeting the increase in the requirements of the national economy in fuel, energy, and raw and other materials.
Utmost improvement in the technical level of products is at the centre of the Party's economic policy and all practical work. Soviet products should incorporate the latest achievements of scientific thought, meet the highest technical, economic, aesthetic and other consumer demands, and be competitive on the world market. Improving product quality is a reliable way of more fully meeting the country's requirements in commodities and the population's growing demand for a variety of goods. Poor quality and rejects mean wasted material resources and labour. The Party will actively support efforts to maintain the reputation of the Soviet trade mark. The quality of products should be a matter of professional and patriotic pride.
The effectiveness of scientific and technological progress depends not only on an increase in the output of the latest technical facilities, but also on the better use of fixed assets, and an increase in the output of products per unit of equipment, per square metre of production space. The present downward trend in output-assets ratio is to be overcome, and in the long run this ratio is to he increased.
Accelerated scientific and technological progress is making greater demands on the general and vocational education of working people. The course of improving the entire system of training personnel and raising its skills, or ensuring, on a planned basis, a balance between the number of workplaces and manpower resources in all economic sectors and regions of the country will be pursued.
The drive for all-round intensification and rationalisation of production, for its highest efficiency on the basis of scientific and technological progress is being organically combined, under the socialist system of planned economy, with the implementation of the humanitarian goals of Soviet society, with full employment and the steady improvement of all aspects of life.
Structural Reorganisation of Social Production
The switchover to intensification calls for serious structural changes in the economy. The national economy should be able to change flexibly and promptly in line with advances in science and technology, in social and individual requirements. There must be faster development of sectors essential for scientific and technological progress and for the successful solution of social tasks, an optimal correlation between consumption and accumulation, and a better balance between the manufacture of the means of production and consumer goods, between sectors in the agro-industrial complex. The social orientation of the economy will be strengthened and a turn will be made consistently to assure a more complete satisfaction of the Soviet people's growing requirements.
In this connection new demands are being made on investment policy. It is being called upon to ensure a higher effectiveness of capital investments, their concentration in the key sections that are essential for the prompt achievement of the highest economic effect and a balanced development of the economy, and the highest increment in output and national income per rouble spent. Emphasis must he shifted from new construction projects to technical re-equipment and reconstruction of existing enterprises, with a considerable increase in the share of funds spent on the purposes in the overall volume of productive capital investments, and with greater spending on equipment and machinery. The top-priority task is to improve the correlation between capital investments in resource-extracting, processing and consuming sectors and to redistribute funds in favour of the sectors which ensure the acceleration of scientific and technological progress.
Making the Soviet economy the most highly-developed and powerfull one in the world calls for further development of heavy industry as the basis of economic strength.
The Party assigns to machine-building the key role in applying the latest achievements of science and technology. Higher growth rates in machine-building are the basis for scientific and technological progress in all sectors of the national economy and for maintaining the country's defences at a proper level, and represent the main trend in the long-range development of the economy. Machine-building is called upon to manufacture systems and sets of machinery, equipment and instruments of the highest technical and economic standards so as to ensure revolutionary changes in the technology and organisation of production, manifold increase in labour productivity, reduction in material intensity and power intensity, improvement in product quality, and higher returns on capital. Priority will be given to the development of machine-tool building, electrical engineering, the microelectronic industry, computer engineering and instrument-making, the entire branch of information science as the real catalysts for scientific and technological progress.
We must strengthen the potential of and effect a qualitative improvement in metallurgy, the chemical industry, and other sectors of heavy industry that produce structural materials, continuously broaden the range and improve the quality of materials, and increase the output of new, highly economical and advanced types.
The effective development of the country's fuel-and-energy complex is a most important task. Consistent satisfaction of the country's growing requirements for various types of fuel and energy requires improvement in the structure of the fuel-and-energy balance, accelerated development of the nuclear power industry, large-scale utilisation of renewable sources of energy, and vigorous and purposeful work to save fuel and energy resources in all sectors of the national economy.
An indispensable condition for social and economic progress is the further strengthening and improved efficiency of the agro-industrial complex, and a full satisfaction of the country's requirements in its produce. The task is to complete the transfer of agriculture to an industrial basis, introduce everywhere scientific systems of farming and intensive technologies, improve the utilisation of soil and raise its fertility, achieve a significant increase in the yield of agricultural crops and in livestock productivity, build up the fodder base, ensure stability in agricultural production, reduce its dependence on unfavourable natural and climatic conditions, and rule out losses in harvested farm crops and livestock produce. Agro-industrial integration and inter-farm cooperation will be consolidated; the machinery, technology and organisation of production, procurement, transportation, storage and processing of agricultural produce will he raised to a new level.
Coflective and state farms, and agro-industrial associations and enterprises that form the backbone of socialist agriculture are called upon to contribute decisively to satisfying the country's requirements in agricultural produce. At the same time subsidiary farms run by enterprises and individual plots of citizens, as well as collective gardening, will be used to replenish the food resources.
The CPSU will direct efforts towards accelerated growth in the production of consumer goods and the entire sphere of services to satisfy completely the needs of the Soviet people. Enterprises, associations and organisations in all sectors of the national economy should be involved in this.
In perfecting the integral national economic complex of the country the Party assigns an important role to technical retooling and the more efficient performance of sectors of the production infrastructure - the systems of electric power, oil and gas supply, communications and information back-up. Special attention will be paid to developing an integrated transport system, upgrading all its links, and developing a ramnified network of well-appointed roads.
The task is essentially to raise technical and economic standards in construction, turn construction work into an integral industrial process, improve the quality and reduce the cost of design and construction work, and cut down the time taken to complete construction projects and to bring them up to design capacity.
The Party will continue to devote undivided attention to improving the distribution of the productive forces, an effort which should ensure the economy of social labour and the comprehensive and highly efficient development of each region. The economies of all Union republics will develop further through the greater social division of labour, and their contribution to the satisfaction of the requirements of the country will grow. The task is further to improve the structure of the existing territorial-production complexes and of economic ties, and to bring enterprises that process raw materials as close as possible to the places where those materials are extracted. It is necessary to use to a fuller extent the possibilities offered by small and medium-sized towns and workers' settlements, to locate within them specialised production facilities linked to the manufacture of products under co-production arrangements with major enterprises, to the processing of agricultural and local raw materials, and to the provision of services to the population.
Accelerated development of the productive forces in Siberia and the Soviet Far East remains a component part of the Party's economic strategy. In developing new regions it is of special economic and political importance strictly to ensure the comprehensive fulfilment of production tasks and the development of the entire social infrastructure so as to improve people's working and living conditions.
In charting economic development prospects, the CPSU proceeds from the need to improve foreign economic strategy and more fully to utilise the possibilities offered by the mutually advantageous international division of labour and, above all, the advantages of socialist economic integration. Foreign economic, scientific and technical contacts will be extended, and progressive structural changes will be introduced in the sphere of export and import in order to raise the efficiency of the national economy and guarantee independence from capitalist countries in strategically important areas.
Improvment of Socialist Production Relations, the System of Economic Management and Its Methods
Constant improvement of production relations, which should always correspond to the dynamically developing productive forces, and identification and resolution in good time of non-antagonistic contradictions arising between them are vital prerequisites for accelerating socio-economic progress.
Consolidation and enhancement of social ownership of the means of production, which is the foundation of the economic system of socialism, will remnain at the centre of the Party's attention. The task is to increase the degree to which production is socialised, to raise the efficiency of its planned organisation, and steadily to improve the forms and methods of utilising the advantages and potentials of the property belonging to all the people.
An upsurge of productive forces in agriculture, the development of inter-farm cooperation and agro-industrial integration will help bring about a further drawing together, and in the future a fusion, of collective-farm and cooperative property and the property of all the people. This will be a result of the all-round development and strengthening of both forms of socialist ownership, ever fuller utilisation of the possibilities of the collective-farm and cooperative sector of the economy.
The Party will persevere in fostering in work collectives and in every worker a sense of co-ownership of social property, take the necessary measures to protect socialist property, prevent all attempts to use it for self-serving ends, eradicate methods of appropriation of material benefits that are alien to socialism, and ensure the constitutional right of citizens to personal property.
The Party attaches great significance to improvement of relations in the sphere of distribution which have a notable effect on enhancing collective and personal interest in the development of social production and on the standards and mode of life of the people. A policy will be consistendy implemented of ensuring the most effective distribution of the social product and national income, and making sure that the mechanism of distribution serves as a reliable barrier to unearned incomes and to levelling in pay, a barrier to everything that contradicts the norms and principles of socialist society. It is necessary to have strict control over the measure of work and the measure of consumption, to increase the interest of collectives and of every worker in achieving better national economic results, and skilfully to combine moral and material incentives in work.
An urgent task is further to develop relations in the sphere of economic exchange. It is necessary to increase the stability of economic ties, ensure a dynamic correlation between demand and supply, improve the circulation of material and money resources and accelerate the turnover of circulating assets.
To raise production efficiency and improve distribution, exchange and consumption it is important to use commodity-money relations more fully, in conformity with the new content inherent in them under socialism. It is necessary to promote greater economy and control over the amount and quality of work by using monetary means, to employ the whole arsenal of economic levers and incentives, to consolidate the state budget and to increase the buying power of the rouble.
The acceleration of the social and economic development of the country demands continuous improvement in the guidance of the national economy, reliable and effective functioning of the economic mechanism comprising diverse and flexible forms and methods of management, and their correspondence to changing conditions of economic development and the character of the tasks being fulfilled.
Improvement of management should be based on a more efficient and comprehensive use of
the advantages and possibilities of the socialist planned economic system and economic
laws, and take full account of the changes in productive forces and production relations
and of the growth of educational standards, consciousness, qualifications and experience
of the broad mass of the working people. It should ensure an optimal combination of
personal interests and the interests of work collectives and of different social groups
with the interests of the entire state, the interests of all the people, and in this way
use them as the motive force of economic growth.
The entire system of management should be directed towards augmenting the contribution of every element of the national economy to attaining the supreme goal - to satisfy to the fullest extent the requirements of society. The all-round increase of this contribution with a minimum expenditure of all resources is an immutable law of socialist economic management, and the basic criterion for evaluating the performance of various sectors, associations and enterprises, of all production units.
There must be a consistent implementation of the Leninist principles of management and, above all, of the principle of democratic centralism which reflects the unity of both of its basic elements - enhanced efficiency of centralised guidance and a considerable broadening of the economic autonomy and responsibility of associations and enterprises.
The attention of central management bodies should be concentrated to an increasing degree on fulfilling the strategic tasks of economic and social development, and on implementing in practice a uniform policy in the spheres of scientific and technological progress and capital investments, of structural changes in the national economy, the proportionality of social production, the strengthening of the system of planned state reserves, distribution of the productive forces, payment for work, social security, prices, tariffs, finances, accounting and statistics.
The Party considers it necessary to raise the efficiency of planning as an instrument for carrying out its economic policy. Planning should be an active lever for accelerating the social and economic development of the country, for intensifying production on the basis of scientific and technological progress, implementing progressive economic decisions and ensuring balanced and dynamic economic growth. Qualitative indices reflecting the efficiency of utilisation of resources, the scale of output of new products and the growth of labour productivity on the basis of the achievements of science and technology should occupy a central place in plans. It is vital to tackle economic and social tasks comprehensively, organically combine long-term, five-year and annual plans, raise the scientific standards of planning, enhance discipline in carrying out plans, ensure priority of the interests of the entire state, and decisively put a stop to all manifestations of departmentalism and parochialism, red tape and voluntarism. The finance-and-credit system must be substantially improved, and its role in raising production efficiency and strengthening the money turnover system and cost accounting must be enhanced.
Developing the principles of centralised management and planning, the Party, in the fulfilment of strategic tasks, will vigorously carry out measures to enhance the role of the main production element - associations and enterprises, and consistently follow a line towards broadening their rights and economic autonomy and increasing their responsibility and intrest in achieving good final results. Day-to-day management work should be concentrated at the local level - in work collectives.
The Party considers it necessary to develop and improve further the effectiveness of cost accounting and consistently to switch enterprises and associations over to full-scale cost accounting, while enhancing economic leverage and reducing the number of indices set by higher organisations. The activity of associations and enterprises will be regulated to an ever fuller extent by longterm economic norms which give scope to initiative and creativity in work collectives. Measures to improve management from above should be combined with the development of collective forms of organisation and stimulation of work at a grass-roots level. The system of levers and incentives should give real advantages to work collectives that are successful in accelerating scientific and technological progress, put out better products and increase the profitability of production. The opportunities and rights of associations and enterprises to use money earned to develop production, provide material incentives for the work force and resolve social questions will grow.
Wholesale trade will expand, the role of direct ties and economic contracts between the consumer-enterprises and manufacturers of products will grow, and so will the influence of the consumer on the technical standards and quality of products.
Price-formation must be improved to ensure that prices reflect more accurately the level of socially indispensable inputs and the quality of products and services, that they stimulate more actively scientific and technological progress, thrift in the use of resources, improvement of technical, economic and consumer qualities of products and introduction of all things new and advanced, and that they promote greater economy.
The CPSU sets the task of consistently improving the organisational structure of the management of the national economy at all levels, reducing the managerial apparatus and doing away with its excessive elements. It is necessary to improve the management of major national economic complexes and groups of interrelated and similar sectors; to achieve a rational combination of large, medium-sized and small enterprises, and of sectoral and territorial management; to extend the network and improve the performance of production and research-and-production associations; to deepen specialisation; and to develop integration and cooperation in production.
The attention of inter-sectoral and sectoral management bodies will be concentrated on the most important trends in the development of various sectors and on the introduction of scientific and technological achievements. They should be responsible for meeting fully the requirements of the national economy and the population for products of the range and variety that have been decided on. The role and responsibility of republican and local bodies in managing economic, social and cultural development and in meeting the needs of the working people will grow, and the powers of these bodies will be broadened.
In its work to improve economic guidance the CPSU will consistently pursue a line towards developing the working people's creative initiative and their increased involvement in the process of managing production, a line towards enhancing the role of work collectives in drafting plans and making economic decisions, in implementing measures in the field of social and economic development at enterprises, and in finding and mobilising the internal reserves of production. Thriftiness, the efficient use of public funds, rational use of every rouble, eradication of mismanagement, and elimination of various non-productive expenditures and losses - this is the cause of the entire Party, all the people, every work collective, every worker.
The development of socialist emulation is a subject to which the Party gives constant attention. It is one of the most important spheres for encouraging the creativity of working people, one of the chief means of self-expression and social recognition of the individual. Guided by the Leninist principles of openness and the possibility to compare results and to draw on advanced experience, we must improve the organisation and enhance the efficiency of emulation, root out formalism and stereotypes, and develop the spirit of initiative, comradely cooperation and mutual assistance. Of great significance is all-round support for the initiative and creativity of the people in accelerating scientific and technological progress, increasing labour productivity, ensuring the thrifty use of resources, improving production efficiency and output quality while reducing output costs, ensuring an efficient work rhythm with timely fulfilment of contractual obligations and achieving better national economic results.
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