First published in 1942 in Lenin Miscellany XXXIV.
Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, page 495.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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March 3, 1922
Sokolnikov’s theses (“Basic Provisions of the Financial Programme”) are, I think, not bad, but on the theoretical side.
I am making a special study of one point (beginning of § 12) and shall write about it separately.
For the rest, I propose: submit for opinion to the State Planning Commission, Preobrazhensky and Krasnoshchekov. Then print with cuts (for the time being throw out the point on substituting the cash tax for the tax in kind, etc.).
Now, on the substance of the matter. I think these two things are pivotal:
1) how to find fierce and clever men for harassing all the People’s Commissariats (plus the Moscow, plus the Petrograd Soviets): reduce staffs in practice and severely;
2) how to teach our bureaucratic “torgs” (including the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Trade, Mostorg, Petrotorg, etc., etc.) to trade instead of engaging in red tape.
Perhaps we should authorise the All-Russia C.E.C. Presidium to adopt this decision:
All People’s Commissariats plus the Moscow and Petrograd Soviets shall have the duty to submit within a week a draft decision transferring their staffs (all who are connected with economics) to percentage payments from turnover and from profits, with fierce penalties for losses, flabbiness and bungling, and with the obligation to reply to commercial inquiries within 3–6 hours, under penalty of prison terms of not less than 5 years.
For the best draft decision—a prize of 100,000 gold rubles, to be paid after a year’s successful trial of the decision, so that payment is proportional to the success (100% success == 100% prize, 1% success == 1% prize).