On socialist accumulation, surplus and thrift

In a fascinating piece from 1926, Stalin reflects rather deeply on economic questions in the construction of socialism. He speaks of socialist accumulation, socialist surplus, and – my favourite – socialist thrift:

The ability to expend funds wisely and thriftily is a most valuable art, and one which is not acquired all at once. It cannot be said that we, our Soviet and co-operative bodies, are marked by great abilities in this respect. On the contrary, all the evidence goes to show that things are far from satisfactory in this field. It is hard to have to admit it, comrades, but it is fact which no resolutions can cover up. There are times when our administrative bodies resemble the peasant who saved up a little money and, instead of using it to re-equip his farm and acquire new implements, bought a great big gramophone and – came to grief (Works, volume 8, page 137).


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