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The Socialist SystemThe Political Economy of Communism$
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Janos Kornai

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198287766

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198287763.001.0001

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The “Perfection” Of Control

The “Perfection” Of Control

(p.396) 17 The “Perfection” Of Control
The Socialist System

János Kornai (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The ‘perfection’ of control described in this chapter refers to the sorts of apparently genuine changes to the classical socialist system seen in official declarations, regulations, and campaigns that, in fact, result in no alterations to the basic features of the system. These pseudoreforms are initiated by people who have realized that there is something wrong, but are still convinced that the system is basically right and would operate better if ‘perfected’. The ‘perfection’ tendency results in reorganization, and this is shown to have occurred at upper and lower levels during the course of disintegration of socialist systems. Another factor in the perfection tendency is the transformation of planning and direct control. Eventually, it is realized that no amount of reorganization or transformation of planning and control will improve the situation.

Keywords:   classical socialism, perfection of control, planning, reform, reorganization, socialist systems

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