lördag 2 juni 2012

Soviet dreams of Red Plenty

In Soviet Russia, food court judges YOU!

I review Francis Spufford's book Red Plenty in The Freeman of June 2012. Get a look inside the book in my article Inside the Fifties' Soviet Dream.

Many at the time felt the same mesmerized disquiet over Soviet growth as for China's growth today. When leader Nikita Khrushchev declared ”we will bury you”, many Western commentators took him quite seriously.

Leonid Kantorovich was the only Soviet citizen to receive the Nobel prize in Economics. His linear programming, further developed by Tjalling Koopmans, is used to devise airline routes, investment policies and distribution systems.

The fields of economics has changed quite a bit since the days described in the book. It is doubtful that the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences would have been instituted later than the 60's. Economics reliance and belief in models, optimum allocation of resources and econometrics has been shaken and does not strive to the same degree of objectivity as in the sciences.

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